Yemen operator Y-Tel completed what it claimed was the country’s first mobile video call, employing a new 4G network to deliver what it branded a major technical milestone and departure from its legacy 2G infrastructure.

In a statement, Y-Tel explained it previously operated a 2G network for voice and SMS only, but its network suffered from patchy coverage and significant instability.

The Yemeni government granted 4G telecoms licences to the company in line with reconstruction projects across the Middle Eastern country following a civil war.

Y-Tel stated the video call marks the commencement of operating a network which will deliver stable voice services along with mobile data capabilities. The operator plans to debut the 4G service in the city of Aden before a phased national deployment over the remainder of 2022 and into 2023.

It claims its new network is also “5G-ready,” although 5G licenses have not yet been awarded.

According to GSMA Intelligence the operator is the smallest player in a four-carrier market.

The Y-Tel 4G network is the culmination of an eighteen-month long network transformation project managed by system integration and consultancy company Digis Squared.

Digis Squared COO Ahmed Zein said “the connectivity we are delivering will truly transform lives and improve the functioning of society”.