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UAE scores world’s second fastest 5G download speed

5G UAE Reuters
Anwar's government is now planning to introduce a second 5G network from January 2024 to challenge DNB's lock on the market
  • Investment in telecoms offers strong foundation for future productivity
  • 5G is key to sectors including industrial automation and smart cities

The UAE has the second fastest median download speeds over 5G in the world, according to a new global report published this week.

Research by Speedtest.net, also known as Speedtest by Ookla, a US-based web service that provides analysis of Internet performance, revealed that the UAE was among the countries at 511.70 mbps (megabytes per second) in Q3 2022.

Only South Korea had a faster download speed in the third quarter at 516.15 mbps.

The report, Stable and Expanding: The State of Worldwide 5G in 2022, placed Bulgaria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Kuwait, New Zealand, Bahrain and Brazil in the top ten for 5G download speed.

“Investment in telecommunications and digital has been a strategic pillar for the UAE,” Paolo Pescatore, founder at TMT consulting company PP Foresight, told AGBI in an interview earlier this year. 

“It represents a strong foundation for future growth and productivity. The UAE was the first Arab country to launch 5G, which underlines the desire for the government to be early adopters.

“The 5G rollout will help open up endless opportunities as a means of transforming all businesses and verticals.

“However, beyond the fast data speeds, the low latency and robustness of the network is where the future of 5G will come into its own and help the country realise its bold ambitions for an automated and connected society.” 

The report revealed a median global 5G download speed of 168.27 mbps in Q3 2022, compared to 166.13 mbps for the corresponding period last year

Ian Fogg, vice president of analysis at Opensignal, said: “5G has the potential now to dramatically boost the consumer mobile experience. Already we see a big uplift in speeds with 5G.

“As 5G technology matures it will greatly boost other aspects of the mobile consumer experience, such as gaming, with lower and more reliable latencies.

“However, the designers of 5G also intend the technology to be at the heart of many sectors of the economy — not just consumer smartphone connectivity — including industrial automation, smart cities, smart agriculture and so forth.

“The 5G foundation being built today for consumer mobile services sets GCC countries on the path to benefiting from 5G technology in numerous Internet of Things applications across the economy.”

Earlier this year Dubai was the only Middle Eastern city to be highlighted in the Digital Cities Index (DCI) 2022 – a new ranking of 30 global cities across four key pillars: connectivity, services, culture and sustainability.

The DCI 2022, conducted by The Economist, surveyed 3,000 residents across 30 countries and assessed the impact of digitisation, across quantitative metrics like internet speed.

Dubai ranked 18th with an overall score of 63.8.

While its investment in the digital ecosystem has paid off on several fronts, it also performed poorly in some areas of the 2022 DCI. 

The emirate ranks as the most expensive city for affordability of mobile data, with the average cost of 1gb of mobile data equating to 0.55 percent of personal disposable income.

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