Qatar sets precedent for high-speed mobile internet

11 August 2015

Major upgrade will allow theoretical data transfer rate of up to 375 mbps

  • Mobile devices that support up to 375 mbps have yet to reach the market
  • Upgrade is accompanied by ongoing expansion of fixed fibre network

Qatar’s Ooredoo recently completed upgrading its fourth-generation (4G) long-term evolution (LTE) network. The upgrade will pave the way for the provider to offer a theoretical data transfer rate of up to 375 megabits per second (mbps), once devices that support this speed reach the market.

Depending on the carrier and the network configuration, the theoretical download speed for 4G LTE could reach only up to 300 mbps.

The higher maximum speed offered by Ooredoo’s upgraded network, branded as SuperNet, is made possible by the use of a three-band carrier aggregation based on the installation of a combined 20+10 megahertz-band on its advanced LTE network. This means the provider can aggregate spectrum from three bands that enable higher mobile internet performance.

As part of the upgrade, Ooredoo said in a statement that it will invest in the latest wide band antenna systems, which provide the flexibility to smoothly upgrade capacity as per customer requirement, as well as meet existing and future capacity needs in the country.  

The upgrade involves the continued expansion of Qatar’s fixed-fibre network to bring the best internet speeds to business and residential customers across the country. Successful trials of up to and beyond 1 gigabit-per-second (gbps) were completed earlier this year and the company plans to bring additional speed options to customers in the near future using SuperNet.

To ensure customers have access to next-generation services wherever they are in Qatar, Ooredoo has also launched an additional service called “operation desert”, which aims to significantly improve coverage in Qatar’s popular desert locations in time for the upcoming camping season, the company said in a statement.

The company, along with Nokia Networks and China Mobile, gave users a foretaste of future broadband demand in December 2014, when it demonstrated a record-breaking 4.1 gbps over an advanced LTE network configuration. At this speed, the company said, even the most demanding mobile users would be able to download a full-length 5 gigabit (GB) high-definition (HD) movie in just 11 seconds and simultaneously upload a 5-minute 30 MB video clip from a concert in less than a second.

Telecom carrier Du in the UAE has announced its plans to install 5G, which can deliver a throughput of up to 10 gbps, by 2021, provided the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has approved all relevant standards by then.

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