Next-generation WiMax technology gets put to the test in Dubai by du

The UAE’s new telecom operator du has revealed it is testing next-generation technologies as it prepares for the launch of its operations by the end of the year.

The firm has started testing WiMax wireless network technology in Dubai and might use this technology to provide mobile telecommunications and high-speed internet through mobiles, handset devices and computers, according to a report in newspaper Gulf News.

The telecom operator, which will be the second in the UAE, announced in September it would build a long-distance wireless broadband network using WiMax.

“Du has already deployed WiMax in selected test locations in Dubai,” du CEO Osman Sultan told Gulf News. “We are evaluating this new technology to see if it supports the demands of voice and data we believe some customers want.”

“We will wait and see what our trials show us and what our test ‘customers’ tell us about how they found the quality of voice and data,” he added.

Sultan did not name the vendors that it was trying the technologies with and also declined to comment further on the results of the testing.

“This technology is evolving, and at the very start we just want to try to see how this is responding to certain needs,” he said.

The adoption of the wide area wireless technology WiMax is already gathering momentum in the Middle East and the technology is currently used in several countries including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

It is WiMax’s 50km range and significant bandwidth of up to 72Mbps that makes the technology attractive.

Du, the second telecom operator in the UAE, is attempting to establish its position against incumbent operator Etisalat, which until now has been the sole provider of telecom services in the UAE.

“We realise we face very strong competition from Etisalat, and that launching against a company with such a high level of market penetration is not going to be easy,” Sultan said at the time of the launch.

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