(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Qatar became the first country in the world to make available ‘5G speeds' to customers on a live network and using commercial smartphones when Ooredoo offered the next-generation mobile experience to VIP customers on select locations in Doha on Qatar National Day.
The 5G, or the fifth-generation wireless broadband technology, will provide better speeds and coverage than the current 4G.
Ooredoo's ‘5G Speed Experience' is available in select locations and will offer an 'extremely high speed and low latency network with initial speeds of up to (and in some cases exceeding) 1Gbps.
The country's other telecom operator, Vodafone Qatar, also said that it will be 'one of the fastest adopters of 5th generation service.
Qatar's strides in developing the platform for 5G mobile network, much beyond the 4G LTE mobile networks of today, are commendable as it is assumed that 5G networks will not become commercially available until the 2020 timeframe.
On Qatar National Day in 2016, Ooredoo had completed trials for 5G speed and latency, achieving incredible speeds of up to 36GB per second in their cutting-edge engineering hub which made it at that time the fastest mobile data service in the world.
In the broadband segment also, Qatar made headway as was testified by ‘Akamai State of the Internet' report, which ranked Qatar first in the Mena region and seventh worldwide for broadband connection speeds.
Recently, Ooredoo unveiled new plans to its popular "home broadband" service to cater to the increasing needs of its customers with regards to bandwidth speeds and entertainment content.
New customers on fibre will now have a choice of ‘Fibre Home' plans starting at 15Mbps to 10Gbps.
The Ooredoo fibre network is available across Qatar with more than 260,000 homes and businesses currently benefiting from super-fast Internet and next generation services.
Ooredoo Qatar's fibre rollout programme has passed more than 500,000 homes and now connected more than 347,000 homes.
The company's customer numbers increased 3% year-on-year to reach 3.5mn in the third quarter of 2017.
Ooredoo saw strong momentum on its corporate SMS service last year, which allows organisations to communicate offers, announcements, and provide useful information to thousands of customers across Qatar.
Using the Ooredoo Business SMS service, organisations across all sizes and industry verticals can quickly and easily communicate and engage with customers and staff.
The Ooredoo Business SMS service is part of the Ooredoo Advantage, the company's extensive, business solution portfolio for Qatar.
The year also saw the telecom giant completing the de-listing process of Ooredoo GDR (Global Depositary Receipt) from the London Stock Exchange, with effect from August 31.
Last month, Ooredoo launched its 'comprehensive and most secure suite of Enterprise Mobility Management software with BlackBerry to support Qatar's organisations in driving mobile workforces and business competitiveness.
BlackBerry's newest suite will allow enterprises to increase productivity and collaboration, accelerate key business processes, and reduce total cost of ownership all while meeting high-security and regulatory requirements.
By the end of September, Vodafone had 1.39mn customers in Qatar.
The company's postpaid customers grew by 20.8%, led by the popularity of Vodafone's FLEX plans.
Vodafone Qatar has also said that it will be 'one of the fastest adopters of 5th generation service
Vodafone announced that the company's financial year-end would now start on January 1 and end on December 31 to 'ensure alignment of the company's results announcements and other reporting requirements with the local market.
Hitherto, Vodafone Qatar's financial year started on April 1 and ended on March 31.
Last year also saw Vodafone reaffirming support for enterprises in Qatar with tailored-made solutions and launched a new campaign that highlights its capabilities in enabling customers to grow their operations through tailored made solutions.
Vodafone said it is 'uniquely able to develop tailor-made, smart and specific solutions based on customers' needs by leveraging expertise and solutions from around the world. This matters more than ever as businesses of every size are facing the same challenges and opportunities caused by the blurring of boundaries between mobile, fixed communications and IT.