Etisalat in high-speed download trials with Huawei

Waiting to download 4K and HD movies could become a thing of the past, thanks to new technology successfully trialled by Etisalat.

The operator yesterday announced a collaboration with the Chinese infrastructure provider Huawei to provide download speeds of 10Gbps [gigabits per second], 20 times faster than the fastest consumer broadband offered by the company.

Such technology would, in theory at least, enable customers to download the HD version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in little over a minute.

“Consumers today require high internet speeds for real-time 4K video streaming, low-latency cloud gaming, desk cloud system and large file transfers,” said Etisalat and Huawei in a statement.

“The launch of the 10Gbps service will enable users to experience and enjoy the fastest broadband speed available in the region today.”

Neither company said when they expected the new faster broadband speeds to become commercially available for UAE consumers.

The announcement coincided with the launch of a 1Gbps consumer internet service by Qatari telco Ooredoo, available for 1,900 Qatari riyals (Dh1,916) per month.

The prospect of higher broadband speeds comes as the operator’s customers wait for the launch of high-resolution 4K TV services.

The Qatari operator, which in February became the first regional telco to launch 4K TV, claims the service will enable customers to download a 30-minute, 4K-quality movie in three minutes, and a two-hour HD movie in two minutes.

Etisalat and du both announced plans to launch 4K television services in the UAE by the end of March, but have yet to launch the services commercially.

4K video content is available from streaming services including Netflix and Starzplay.

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