UAE-based Etisalat plans to invest $1 billion (AED4 billion) during 2019 in digital transformation, mobile and fibre networks, according to Hatem Bamatraf, CTO, Etisalat International.
The Etisalat CTO also highlighted Etisalat’s pioneering efforts in 5G that he said will pave the way for the ‘Future of Connectivity’ with innovation and digital transformation. The initiatives are also enabling the company to play a greater role in the digital lives of consumers and enterprises.
Bamatraf was the keynote speaker at ‘5G MENA 2019’ in Dubai that held high-level keynotes, 5G use-cases, onstage debates and interviews, executive CxO summits, a series of networking opportunities, an awards ceremony, a day-long Blockchain and IoT focused stream.
As part of his keynote, he highlighted Etisalat’s continuous investments and focus on enhancing and building one of the most advanced networks in the region having empowered digital transformation and opening up opportunities to engage with our customers in new ways.
“We are stepping into an era, which marks the revolution of ‘Intelligent Connectivity’ underpinned by ubiquitous and hyper connectivity. This term is used to describe the powerful combination of flexible, high-speed 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This will have a significant and profound change on individuals, industries, society and the economy, transforming how we live and work.”
5G is a reality in UAE due to Etisalat’s pioneering efforts, which will enable subscribers to enjoy technologies blending physical and digital realms from AR & VR to IoT, AI, autonomous vehicles, advanced robotics, 3D printing, wearable tech and more. This is mainly due to the backbone of a robust and one of the most advanced, fastest and widest network in the region.
“Innovation was always at the core of our strategy to ‘Drive the digital future to empower societies’ putting our efforts on providing innovative solutions enabling connectivity, mobility, connected devices, energy efficiency, lower latencies and more reliability.”
Bamatraf also underlined that Etisalat’s network will also provide the most advanced digital and telecom services to Expo 2020 Dubai and its millions of visitors, supporting an expected 300,000 users on peak days. It will be a key component of the Expo 2020 ‘smart site’ that will deliver a unique and memorable experience for the millions of visitors.
In terms of 5G readiness, Etisalat is ready to launch the 5G service for all consumers with its infrastructure and network equipped to support all 5G devices set to be launched by global mobile device manufacturers in 2019. With continuous investments in technology and innovation on the network, Etisalat’s infrastructure can enable 5G connectivity today for all fixed devices expected to be launched this year.
Etisalat’s technical teams are building 5G network sites to make this a reality and enable 5G coverage across the country. With 5G technology consumers will witness unprecedented maximum speeds of 10Gbps.
“Etisalat’s network and infrastructure will be ready to provide the service as soon as the 5G mobile handsets are available in UAE. We are aiming to build 1000 5G towers across the UAE during 2019 to enable 5G coverage,” said Bamatraf.