11 May 2018
Doha, Qatar-based carrier Ooredoo has announced the launch of the commercial 5G network which has been released in Qatar. It is claiming itself to be the world's first carrier to offer commercial 5G network deployed on the 3.5GHz spectrum band. The latest high-speed connectivity has been made available in the area starting from The Pearl Qatar and stretching up to Hamad International Airport.
The initial commercial launch coverage area also includes Lagoona, Katara Cultural Village, West Bay, the Corniche and Souq Waqif. It goes without saying that Ooredoo will be gauging the network performance in these areas before deciding to expand the coverage to other areas in the country in coming months.
While Ooredoo is excited about the launch of commercial 5G, it is worth noting that there are no commercially available 5G-compatible devices out in the market yet. This is the reason it is offering a 5G compatible device to anyone who wishes to experience the future of high-speed network connectivity. It did not reveal any details about how the device can be purchased and what would be the cost for the same.
Waleed Al Sayed, CEO of Ooredoo, Qatar said,
"Today, Ooredoo and Qatar make history. We are the first company in the world to offer access to 5G technology and services, and the people of Qatar are the first to have access to the incredible benefits this technological upgrade will bring. We dedicate this important milestone to the people of Qatar and to our beloved leaders, who have encouraged this step in building the knowledge-based economy of Qatar."
Another thing to note here is that even though Ooredoo claimed to have reach data speed of up to 1Gbps during its testing phase, there is no data available for the performance under real-world conditions. It goes without saying that there is a difference in becoming "world's first carrier" to offer commercial 5G network and becoming a carrier that offers reliable and high-speed network in the real world.
Lastly, Ooredoo is one of the many carriers around the world which will be announcing the availability of commercial 5G network in the coming months. But unless we have widely available 5G compatible devices like smartphones, modems, and WiFi hotspots, it will take at least a year before most of the people can get to experience true 5G.