UAE's TRA launches a 5G lab with China's Huawei

The facility is working in the fields of AI, fixed wireless access, security cameras, cloud computing and virtual reality

Huawei stand is seen in the venue during a party congress of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin, Germany, December 6, 2019.   REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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The UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has joined forces with Chinese tech giant, Huawei to open a ‘5G & IoT Joint OpenLab’ in Dubai.

Established in Dubai Media City, the lab will focus on the areas of fifth-generation mobile network technology and the Internet of Things, a TRA official told The National, without divulging further details.

"Through the OpenLab platform, Huawei will work with customers and partners around the world to develop the best possible industry-specific solutions,” said Wang Su, vice president of marketing at Huawei Middle East.

The lab has been operational for the past few weeks. Its work encompasses various fields including artificial intelligence, fixed wireless access, security cameras, cloud computing and virtual reality, TRA said in a statement.

The UAE is first in the Arab region and fourth globally to roll-out and use the 5G network, according to a new report by London-based retailer Carphone Warehouse.

A 5G network promises an internet speed of up to 1.2 gigabits per second, which will gradually reach 10Gbps — more than 100 times faster than 4G. Industry experts say IoT will be a key beneficiary of 5G, which will connect millions of devices simultaneously.

The TRA, which regulates the UAE’s telecom sector and enables smart transformation across government entities, has also invited other manufacturers to launch similar labs in the country to contribute to the culture of innovation and future foresight.

Huawei, which is accused by the US administration of aiding Beijing in espionage through its products, a charge it has denied, is one of the main players in the countrywide roll-out of 5G in the UAE.

Etisalat, the UAE’s biggest telecoms operator, announced a strategic partnership with Huawei to deploy an end-to-end 5G network in the country this year. Shenzhen-based company is also one of the main suppliers of 5G equipment to Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, also known as du.

Finnish manufacturer Nokia and Swedish brand Ericsson are Huawei’s main competitors in the Middle East's 5G race.