Du launches UAE’s first mobile WiMAX network

United Arab Emirates-based operator du has announced the launch of the first mobile WiMAX network in the Emirates.

The network launched in Dubai, which played host to the recent 14th annual GSM>3G Middle East Telco World Summit, and is available on the recently launched Dubai Metro both in stations and in carriages.

When completed, the Dubai Metro will be the longest fully automated rail transport system in the world. The Red Line, which is 52km long, is already functional and is expected to be followed by the Green line in early 2010. Once completed, the Metro will have 47 stations, four of which will be underground.

Using infrastructure supplied by Motorola, du will offer users wireless internet access whilst travelling on the metro at speeds of up to 90km per hour via wifi. The WiMAX element will be used for backhaul. Motorola’s involvement in the deployment of the network included network design, installation and optimization in order to ensure peak performance for nomadic data services to mobile customers across the Dubai Metro system.

“Offering city-wide internet access on the Dubai Metro is part of ongoing efforts to ensure our customers enjoy the convenience of exceptional connectivity, on-demand, wherever they travel,” said Hatem Bamatraf, senior vice president, network development, du.

WiMAX is gaining some traction in the Middle East, where it is being used to extend wireless coverage in areas with low fixed line broadband penetration and difficult territories to serve with cellular broadband.

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