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UAE’s ICT infrastructure a strength in Expo 2020 bid

Staff Report / 27 October 2013

Business community has utmost confidence in Dubai: Etisalat

Etisalat Group CEO Ahmad Julfar highlighted the commitment and efforts of UAE firms in international markets. — Supplied photo

The Etisalat Group, the leading telecoms operator in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, highlighted the strengths of Dubai’s bid in terms of its advanced information and communications technology, or ICT, infrastructure to host World Expo 2020 during a major symposium in the emirate.

Nasser bin Obood, chief government relations and communications officer for the Etisalat Group, spoke of the company’s support at the Dubai Expo 2020 Theme Symposium, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future: Partnerships for Global Innovation and Sustainable Development”, which concluded recently.

During a keynote panel entitled “Global Drivers of Change: Mobility, Sustainability, Opportunity,” Bin Obood spoke about how opportunities — such as the flow of ideas and intellectual and financial capital — are critical drivers shaping the future of all countries and how in today’s Internet economy, access to global minds through advanced communications is an essential factor in unlocking intellectual capital from across the world.

Partnership with ENTIRETEC

DUBAI — Etisalat announced its partnership with Entiretec, a leading managed services provider, to offer bandwidth-on-demand services based on its CLT, or Core Layer Technology.

The announcement came as part of Gitex Technology Week in Dubai.

The partnership, which significantly enhances etisalat’s hospitality offering, enables the telecom provider to provide high-speed internet access with bandwidth-on-demand up to speeds of 1 GB. This solution provides hotels with the ability to increase and decrease the bandwidth they provide to various areas of their premises from their regular monthly allowance as needs fluctuate, such as when the hotel is hosting a conference.

The managed bandwidth-on-demand service from etisalat, powered by Entiretec’s CLT, is an ideal adaptable solution for the hospitality and leisure vertical that enables hotels to make efficiency savings by converting capital costs into operational costs. It also empowers hotels to manage their broadband usage more effectively, with extra bandwidth outside their usual usage allocation being charged per megabyte, per day.

“Hotel and conference guests are becoming ever more data-hungry, and increasingly expect their hotels to have world-class data speeds. This partnership ensures that etisalat’s hotel customers can always keep pace with their guests’ demands,” said Abdulla Hashim, senior vice-president of ICT at Etisalat UAE.

Julian Kraft, managing director of Entiretec Middle East, added: “This [partnership] will allow both of us to be more flexible with the technology the hospitality vertical demands and we can scale the solutions to customers’ needs within their core business.”

— business@khaleejtimes.com

“Since 2004, etisalat and other ICT providers in the UAE have worked in partnership with the government to deploy millions of kilometers of cable across the country and to ensure seamless high-speed Internet for mobile devices. Today, we offer the world’s fastest broadband to the home, and have demonstrated last year the world’s fastest mobile connectivity. Combined with our extensive submarine capacity, the UAE’s ICT infrastructure is uniquely pos itioned to help bring the Expo to the world,” he said.

Bin Obood went on to explain how accessing information held on global clouds and being able to converse in real-time with experts and young people across the world would create an experience that has never been seen before.

“Dubai is already the major convention and meeting hub for the Middle East, Africa and Asia. This is partially because of our great shipping and aviation companies, hotels and conference venues. But it is also due to the confidence the global community has in our ICT infrastructure and the ability of multinational corporations to collaborate effectively with colleagues and peers outside the country when they are here. This has taken the country over seven years to develop with the public and private sector working together to ensure that today, more than 70 per cent of all homes are connected by fibre-optic cables and the entire country can enjoy broadband access through their mobile devices.”

Today, three million kilometres of fibre-optic cable are installed across the UAE — enough to reach the moon seven times and to wrap the world 75 times. Because of these advances, the FTTH Council has named the UAE the country with the highest penetration of fibre-to-the-home in consecutive years since 2012. Recent research from Google has also spotlighted the UAE as being the country with the highest penetration of advanced smart phones.

Bin Obood then explained how this connectivity was helping surrounding nations and helping to bridge the digital divide: “In 2009 we completed the Teams cable between UAE and Kenya. This was the first physical connection between Africa and the world’s Internet community providing Kenya and its surrounding countries with more affordable broadband. Since then we have partnered with other companies and governments on East Africa on other projects, particularly in Sudan and Tanzania bringing a digital dividend of jobs and access to millions on the continent.”

Etisalat is one of the official bid partners of Expo 2020 and is helping raise awareness across its footprint in fifteen countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Etisalat’s group chief executive officer, Ahmad Julfar, highlighted the commitment and efforts of UAE companies in international markets at the Africa Global Business Forum that also took place in Dubai earlier in 2013. There, he presented the opportunity that bridging the digital divide can bring to developing nations, in areas such as education, employment and access to affordable finance.

— business@khaleejtimes.com

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