The integrated service provider du has been selected as the Official Smart City Wi-Fi Provider in Dubai and has since been successfully expanding its Wi-Fi network to major landmarks in UAE, such as Dubai Tram  and Global Village , etc…
Ahead of the LTE MENA conference in Dubai, we spoke with Ayman Elnashar, Senior Director for Wireless Broadband, Terminals & Performance at du. Ayman will be discussing du Wireless Broadband plans in more detail at the show, but I wanted to find out how du subscribers are already getting a better service thanks to this innovation.
“The Wi-Fi network improves customer experience thanks to lower latency, higher data rate using IEEE 802.11ac,” he said “consumers can use voice services over mobile network while simultaneously surfing the internet over WiFi network. Moreover, consumers have also benefited from lower battery consumption when using Wi-Fi compared to 3G/4G thanks to TDD mode.
“The deployment of Wi-Fi based on the state of the art 802.11ac Wave 1 will boost the AP throughput to 1Gbps+. Several new terminals and devices support 802.11ac and therefore the user experience will be enriched further with higher peak data rates according to the number of supported spatial streams. Additionally, WiFi is seen as a key enabling technology bridging the mobile ecosystem with connected things to improve the way devices, systems and people interact with each other to create the Internet of Things.”
When questioned about the growth of LTE in MENA, Ayman was convinced of the longevity of the technology and the certainty of continued LTE evolution and growth; “LTE [rollout] is increasing exponentially in MENA region. The data traffic over LTE network is increasing in same manner and even surpassed the 3G traffic in some networks. The introduction of CAT 4 LTE terminals with peak TP of 150Mbps was another milestone, which is just a SW upgrade. du has demonstrated LTE-A with peak throughput of 900Mbps over LTE network using 3CC with MIMO 4×4 for the 1st time in GITEX 2014. This is a major milestone towards LTE development in the MENA region.
“The next major evolution of LTE is the introduction of VoLTE with eSRVCC to maintain the user experience. du demonstrated live VoLTE calls over its LTE commercial network at GITEX 2014. The introduction of LTE-A with Carrier Aggregation (CA) is another major milestone. du was the 1st to achieve peak TP of 900Mbps using 3CC with MIMO 4×4. The evolution to LTE-A with 3CC and MIMO 2×2 will be a major step in 2015 when the chipset of CAT9 and CAT10 modem will be available. 3GPP Rel. 11 introduced CAT9 and CAT10 with 3X CA that will achieve a peak TP of 450 Mbps in DL and 50Mbps/100Mpbs in UL, respectively. Unfortunately, the evolution to MIMO 4×4 seems to be delayed beyond 2015 and it is deployment after carrier aggregation may encounter some difficulties.”
Ayman was looking forward to discussing these challenges and more at the LTE MENA 2015 conference in May; “The event is the only venue in MENA region that is dedicated to LTE” he said “therefore it’s the right forum to discuss all LTE relevant topics and also the evolution to LTE-A including CA, HetNet, eICIC, CoMP, eMBMS, etc…”