The UAE has established itself as the global leader in 5G performance, with etisalat by e& taking the lead as the fastest operator. The nation’s network operators are focusing on postpaid customer growth and improved customer experiences. While there is room for improvement in 5G performance, particularly in specific cities, the UAE’s commitment to investing in 5G infrastructure and offering new use cases is driving the market forward. With the UAE.’s booming mobile gaming and video streaming industry, 5G networks play a vital role in delivering enhanced experiences to users.
The UAE has emerged as the fastest-growing 5G market globally in Q2 2023, according to Ookla Speedtest Intelligence data. The competition between the nation’s two network operators, etisalat by e& and du, has played a crucial role in driving overall performance in the market. As a result, the UAE reached a median download speed of 557.63 Mbps, with etisalat by e& leading the pack with a median download speed of 680.73 Mbps.
Benefits of 5G Networks: Gaming and Video Streaming Experiences
5G networks have proven to be superior to 4G LTE networks when it comes to mobile gaming and video streaming experiences. Users accessing etisalat by e& and du’s 5G networks experienced significantly lower gaming latency compared to 4G LTE. Median gaming latency for etisalat by e& was 43 ms, while du recorded 57 ms. Additionally, 5G users enjoyed improved video start times and experienced less buffering when streaming videos compared to both 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connections.
Enhanced Network Experience: Industry-Leading Net Promoter Scores (NPS)
With 5G networks driving improved experiences in mobile gaming and video streaming, it’s no surprise that the Net Promoter Scores (NPS) in the UAE are leading the industry. 5G users in the market are more likely to recommend the nation’s networks compared to 4G users. etisalat by e& stands at the top with an NPS score of 64.7 in Q2 2023, followed by du with 46.7.
Room for Improvement: Focusing on the Lower 10% of Speedtest Samples
While the UAE has achieved impressive 5G performance, there is still room for improvement. du led the market in 5G Consistency, ensuring that a significant proportion of Speedtest samples met the minimum performance threshold of 25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload during Q2 2023. However, reviewing the performance of the lower 10% of samples at a city-level reveals areas where both etisalat by e& and du can target improvements.
Return to Economic Growth: Driving Competition in the Mobile Market
Both etisalat by e& and du launched commercially available 5G services across the UAE in Q2 2019, leveraging the spectrum allocated for 5G use by the UAE regulator, the TDRA (Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority). Although the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for both operators, 2022 saw a return to growth in the mobile market. The UAE economy is predicted to experience a positive GDP growth of 3.5% in 2023, resulting in increased competition among mobile network operators.
Focus on Postpaid Customers: Prioritizing Enhanced Customer Experiences
Both etisalat by e& and du are prioritizing the growth of their postpaid customer bases. These operators offer plans that allow subscribers to select additional services, with a strong emphasis on entertainment options such as video streaming services, live sports, and mobile gaming. This strategy aims to provide enhanced customer experiences and drive the adoption of new digital services.
UAE Leads in Global 5G Performance
The UAE has secured its position as the fastest 5G market globally, surpassing South Korea in Q2 2023. etisalat by e& emerged as the fastest operator within the UAE and globally, offering a superior median download speed of 680.73 Mbps on 5G. In comparison, du recorded a median download speed of 453.93 Mbps on 5G. etisalat by e& also dominated the 4G LTE market with a median download speed of 83.35 Mbps, outperforming du’s 64.96 Mbps.
etisalat by e& Leads in 5G Download Performance Across UAE Cities
etisalat by e& outshines du across all major cities in the UAE in terms of median 5G download performance and multi-server latency in Q2 2023. It also leads in median 5G upload speed in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah. However, there is no significant difference between the two operators in Al Ain and Ajman.
5G: Improving Mobile Gaming and Video Streaming Experiences
The abundance of mobile game enthusiasts in the UAE necessitates the delivery of optimal gaming experiences. With an average of 4.7 hours spent playing mobile games per day in the UAE, the demand for improved latency and network responsiveness is evident. 5G networks offer lower latency and higher throughput, enabling better gaming experiences and cloud streaming of games. etisalat by e& recorded lower median latency across both its mobile and fixed networks compared to du in Q2 2023. Furthermore, 5G latency for both operators was lower than that of 4G LTE.