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The United Arab Emirates Experience on 5G Deployment Essay


The task of introducing an innovative 5G technology is the urgent issue of digital development, and this topic is considered in the context of global practices with a special focus on the activities of the UAE and its stakeholders. As a justification for the relevance of this theme, a literature review is provided where various facts are given regarding the features of the introduction of a new wireless network, the bodies involved, and the preparations for launch.

With the help of qualitative research and special questions asked in interviews, it is possible to assess the views on new technology and opinions concerning the nuances of its introduction. The analysis of the data presented demonstrates the high expectations placed on the 5G network and its capacity. The purpose of this study is to determine which factors are considered by the state as the ways of modernizing the existing digital base.


The introduction of the modern means of communication is characterized by the rapidity and using the latest developments in this field. High-speed computerized technologies provide an opportunity of not only practical but also comfortable work with the progress achievements, and every year, the representatives of the digital market offer new ways of communication and data transfer. One of these technologies is the fifth generation wireless connection, abbreviated as 5G.

Previous versions had undeniable merits; however, the updated system has not only better performance but also more advanced features. The introduction of this mechanism in the UAE, the country where much attention is paid to the development of the technology industry and updating the digital base, has several peculiarities. In particular, the government of the state has organized relevant committees that control the implementation of 5G in various sectors.

Also, a specific roadmap has been drawn up, which presents a plan for the implementation of the program aimed at the gradual introduction of the innovative communication system. The research question is as follows: what contextual factors affect the early deployment of 5G technology in the UAE?

The purpose of this work is to evaluate the existing practices used by the government to support the policy regarding the modernization of the digital sphere and the introduction of a new communication system. As objectives, it is essential to describe the elements of the 5G roadmap and mandates of the UAE official committee, assess the status of implementation, evaluate the problems and prospects of the 5G initiative in general, and provide recommendations to the UAE from the standpoint of the state readiness for this new technology. As a research approach, a qualitative analysis method will be used.

To receive a comprehensive picture of the current situation, questions for elite interviews will be offered, and respondents’ answers will be assessed within the stated theme. As a justification for analysis, a section with a literature review will be presented, which is aimed at discussing the trends and mandates related to the implementation of the system, as well as research gaps. 5G technology is a high-quality platform for updating the current digital database, and appropriate implementation techniques can make it possible to realize its maximum potential without significant challenges.

Literature Review

A literature review on the introduction of the 5G technology in the UAE and the aspects of this practice is aimed at identifying current findings in this field and research limitations that need to be taken into account when planning work on developing an evaluation plan. Based on the current reports and facts, it is possible to determine which course of development government agencies follow and what practices they use to implement the proposed strategy for updating the sphere of wireless communications in the context of the proposed changes. The results of the review will allow finding out the outcomes of the work done and those aspects of the activities that deserve attention as the most problematic sectors of the implementation policy.

Current Findings

In the article by Ahmed et al. (2018), the authors give the general picture of the merits of introducing the 5G technology into the communications system and present possible schemes for operation by using this mechanism. According to the researchers, the capacity reached by such a network is sufficient to provide wireless and high-speed Internet access for a large number of users (Ahmed et al., 2018). In the context of the UAE, this principle is convenient and profitable since the flow of tourists may grow due to increased digital opportunities, thereby increasing the country’s profits.

Agüero, Wenning, Zaki, and Timm-Giel (2018) also consider the process of implementing the 5G technology in terms of common features. Even though the work is not directly related to the UAE, the authors mention several discussions held in major world cities, including Abu Dhabi (Agüero et al., 2018). The specifications of these conferences provide for the analysis of the effectiveness of new technologies and protocols for their implementation under certain conditions that need to be created. Based on the work done, it has been found that in different regions, there are certain prerequisites and factors for the development of the 5G system, which requires the participation of the government and relevant assessment boards.

From the entire list of works selected for the review, the article by Basharat, Ejaz, Naeem, Khattak, and Anpalagan (2018) completes a series of studies not directly related to the UAE. However, in their academic research, the authors argue that the comprehensive implementation of the 5G technology is a rather laborious task that requires the development of proper optimization strategies (Basharat et al., 2018). The taxonomy should be thought out correctly so that all available resources could be implemented to cover necessary industries with the appropriate technology.

The report presented by Deloitte (2018) describes the current market competition trends and innovative networks that are mandatory for the transition from 4G to 5G. By the provisions of this article, the growth in potential profits that the carriers of wireless communications may receive through the launch of the new system determines the struggle for the rapid implementation of the plan (Deloitte, 2018). Thus, the transition process is different in some countries, and the work required is also distinctive as shown in the examples of the USA, Germany, China, and Japan.

According to Fettweis and Alamouti (2014), the technology under consideration is a critical step in the development of the wireless sphere. The authors argue that “5G cellular communication will be another paradigm shift that will redefine our future, impacting out societies in ways which cannot be foreseen” (Fettweis & Alamouti, 2014, p. 144). At the same time, the UAE’s role is considered the position of one of the Middle Eastern flagships in the process of introducing current changes. Some areas are mentioned that can be improved through developments in the field of 5G communications – healthcare, politics, education, transport logistics, and other essential aspects of life.

FEV Consulting (2018) describes activities related to the implementation of 5G technology in different areas of life and the standardization of this process based on existing practices. The key focus is on the automotive and transport industries, but mobile technologies are also mentioned, and according to the report, significant advantages may be achieved in case of effective work (FEV Consulting, 2018). There is a background for innovation, and new horizons are open to researchers.

The official report submitted by GSMA (2017) lists the development plans of individual countries in the context of 5G technology. According to this article, within the UAE, this project will be launched in 2020 (GSMA, 2017). Creating a pre-infrastructure requires for the updated version of the wireless connection to interoperate with other platforms, in particular, the Internet of things. As the creators of the reported remark, there is some risk in the delivery of 5G, for instance, the threat of fragmentation and high competition; therefore, the importance of collaboration is noted (GSMA, 2017).

In the report by GSMA (2018a), the possibilities are evaluated that the 5G introduction may provide, and the concept of the Internet of things is considered, which is the system of technologies interfacing with one another. The article also cites several spectrum positions that provide for interaction among the government, regulators, and the representatives of the mobile industry (GSMA, 2018a). As one of the key points, the idea is given that the role of official boards is significant, and work at the national level requires the exchange of experience among all stakeholders.

A detailed report by GSMA (2018b) describes the essence of the 5G technology step by step, the features of its implementation, the conditions for deployment, and its relevance. The factors affecting the introduction of the system in question include the current digital equipment, the willingness of the competent authorities to participate in the upgrade work, and the availability of supporting resources (GSMA, 2018b). When applying these criteria to the UAE, it can be noted that in the country, the situation is favorable for presenting the 5G technology since a corresponding platform has already been prepared, and responsible regulators have been appointed.

Among the merits of the report presented by Huawei Technologies (2013), it is necessary to mention the challenges that accompany the implementation of 5G technology. According to the authors, to meet all the modern requirements and satisfy the needs of both the population and governing boards, such networks face significant complexities (Huawei Technologies, 2013). Nevertheless, specific drivers are cited, for instance, dynamic spectrum refarming. Therefore, based on the information obtained, it can be noted that the implementation initiative should take into account potential challenges and requirements, and the prospects for working in the UAE are positive due to the existing support base.

The developers of Huawei Technologies (2018) argue that it’s the 5G-ready among all the GCC countries. Regarding its economic and technological potential, substantial progress has been made about the preparatory work, and, as all the conditions of implementation are properly implemented, the network will function successfully in 2020 (Huawei Technologies, 2018). Currently, the implementation status is at the preparatory stage, but all key procedures have been completed to launch the project successfully. As for recommendations, from a short-term perspective, more attention should be given to strengthening network virtualization and enhancing digital experience (Huawei Technologies, 2018).

Saad (2018) considers the general concepts and features of the innovative 5G technology in the context of the modern digital market. Based on the experience of previous studies, the author notes that the current algorithms used to implement all the provisions of high-speed wireless connections require an integrated approach to their organization to avoid fragmentation (Saad, 2018). In other words, a phased and slow implementation may be fraught with the delay of essential functions. Therefore, within the digital sphere both the Middle East and other regions, the corresponding background should be prepared, and judging by the current findings in the UAE, its platform is favorable.

The official report submitted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (2018) gives the infographic of the implementation of 5G technology in the UAE and, in particular, the roadmap. According to the article, in 2019, it is planned to use cases and organize operators and eco sys readiness, and in 2020, a comprehensive launch will be organized (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, 2018). Major activities have already been carried out, and an implementation plan has been drawn up by responsible boards. The report confirms the aforementioned view that the UAE is the leading country of the GCC region in terms of the favorable environment for the implementation of 5G, and this fact proves that the correct preparatory work has been performed in the state (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, 2018).

The infographic presented by Qualcomm (2017a) displays the movement of individual countries towards the introduction of 5G technology. Although this list does not include the UAE, it can be noted that the indicators of this state’s development allow speaking about its digital base of sufficiently high quality. Detailed instructions are given regarding the required parameters that are essential for the efficient operation of the updated wireless network. In general, the text of the report confirms the readiness of the United Arab Emirates to launch 5G in various industries.

The article by Qualcomm (2017b) describes the merits of 5G and focuses on the commercial benefits achieved through the implementation of this technology. As the authors of the reported remark, this network will significantly expand the opportunities of various spectrums, and its high-band indicators will help enhance the capacity in different spheres (Qualcomm, 2017b). The absence of the UAE in the list of the reviewed countries does not mean that the background of this country is weak for the effective implementation of the technology. Therefore, judging by the data presented on a national scale, local developments allow implementing all the planned ideas comprehensively.

Research Gaps

Although much information regarding the specifics of the implementation of the 5G technology, including the UAE, is freely available, some peculiarities are not comprehensive enough. For instance, based on the objectives of this study, in all sources, information on the mandates of the UAE committee engaged in the network regulation is either insignificant or not available. It is a research gap since the evaluation of the regulatory board’s activities is a valuable criterion for analyzing the success of the implementation policy. Another limitation is the description of the UAE’s readiness in comparison with other countries.

In various reports reviewed, much information is given about major world powers, for instance, Russia, the USA, China, and some others. However, the UAE does not appear in such comparative tables, although the readiness of this country to implement the 5G system is high. These nuances should be analyzed in detail to have an idea about the quality of the government’s work and all the stakeholders regarding the upcoming innovation program.

Research Methodology

To achieve the disclosure of the research goal concerning the current practices and methods used by the UAE government to ensure the comprehensive qualitative implementation of the 5G technology, it is necessary to develop an appropriate assessment methodology. Since many resources have been used to verify the background for the intervention, it can be assumed that the rationale will be found based on the material considered. The technique of assessment depends on the objectives of the study, and to reveal all the issues, it is essential to give answers to all the stated questions by using specific tools.

Assessment Technique

As the main research method, qualitative analysis will be applied. The advantage of this principle is that with its help, it is possible to obtain reliable facts directly from stakeholders and make a comprehensive picture of a specific problem. According to Ahmed et al. (2018), opinions on the success of the introduction of the innovative wireless technology are the factors that contribute to the adaptation of the current innovation program and its adjustment if necessary. Until the 5G technology has not been launched, it is pointless to consider its features in a statistical ratio, which excludes the relevance of quantitative research.

Moreover, based on the specifics of the topic under consideration, conversations with the target audience may provide information on various aspects of the work carried out, including both preparations for implementation and difficulties and prospects related to the introduction of the program. Therefore, the practice of qualitative research has enough advantages to applying it in this study.

Tools for Analysis

To implement a qualitative research method, special elite interview questions will be offered to those individuals who are involved in the development and control over the introduction of 5G technology. These points are related to the objectives of the study and are aimed at disclosing the stated topic. Along with the questions, the respondent’s answers will be presented, and on their basis, analytical conclusions will be made:

  • Does an innovative 5G technology support program have an impact on various sectors of life, or will only mobile communications be affected?

Various aspects of life will benefit from the introduction of the 5G technology, and not only in the mobile sphere but also in the transport, economic, political, logistic, and other industries positive changes will be felt.

  • Are there some challenges faced when working on the preparation of the program and stringent requirements impinging on the network?

Some complexities arise, in particular, the difficulty of combining all the spectra into a single whole and a prerequisite for avoiding fragmentation to achieve the highest quality possible implementation, but these problems are overcome through the collaboration of all the stakeholders.

  • Are the roadmap and the mandates of the UAE’s committee appropriately detailed and comprehensive?

The 5G roadmap and the mandates of the UAE 5G committee include several elements, and such essential aspects are covered as the preparation of the current digital database, the development of new software, the control of stakeholders’ participation, and the resolution of the issues related to a quick but not stage-by-stage launch.

  • Is the country well prepared for upgrading the main wireless network or is there much to do to achieve the desired level?

In terms of readiness for the introduction of the new technology, the UAE is the most developed country in the GCC region, and its digital database allows implementing the 5G network successfully.

  • What are the most likely prospects for the introduction and development of the 5G technology in the UAE, and what recommendations can be given to its developers at this stage?

If all the provisions of the implementation program are realized, wireless communication in the UAE will reach a new level, and a significant number of areas will benefit from increased productivity. To enhance the program readiness further, the appropriate regulatory committee is to take all possible steps to ensure coherent communication among the developers of the network and those persons who are responsible for presenting the 5G technology in practice.

Analysis of the Results Obtained

Results Interpretation

Based on the respondents’ answers, the current project of introducing the 5G technology as a key wireless network in the UAE is successful enough. Since the launch date of the program is determined, it means that the developers of the system are ready to submit their projects and have all the necessary resources to implement the plan. The participation of the responsible committee is also observed because the officials are aware of the problems and prospects for introduction, and conclusions on the possible consequences are proposed. In general, the results of the work conducted by the authorities correspond to the facts that are offered in the media and prove the effective engagement of all stakeholders.

Main Implications and Development Proposals

In the case of the successful implementation of the 5G technology in the UAE, various sectors will benefit significantly due to the convenience and availability of information, as well as data transfer speeds. For the implementation project to have even positive outcomes, more competent specialists may be involved in the creation and development of appropriate software. Also, as a recommendation for further research, more attention can be paid to the issue of the influence of the country’s regulatory committee and its functions. The value of work about digital base development is due to the constant emergence of new technologies and the need to maintain a consistently high level of wireless Internet services.


The introduction of a modern and high-tech wireless Internet connection 5G is an urgent and relevant task in the UAE, and following specific techniques and principles of implementation may help to realize the potential of the innovation program to the maximum. By the purpose of the study, the work of the government and relevant authorities is analyzed, and all objectives are covered. The readiness of the United Arab Emirates to implement 5G is high, and measures are taken to launch the project in 2020. Based on the literature review, it is clear that the theme of updating wireless network components is topical, and the successful development of these technologies contributes to positive changes in various industries.


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Saad, M. (2018). An improved hybrid genetic algorithm for multi-user scheduling in 5G wireless networks. International Journal of Internet Protocol Technology, 11(2), 63-70. Web.

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