UAE to see 5G trial-runs in 2017
Etisalat to inject over Dh3b investments for infrastructure upgrades
Engineer Saleh Al Abdooli, CEO of etisalat, revealed that the company is planning to inject over Dh3 billion worth of investments in 2017 to be used in infrastructure and upgrading its mobile phone and fibre-optic networks in the country.
Al Abdooli said that the amount and nature of these investments have been determined based on the levels of the current and targeted coverage of etisalat networks in the country, as part of a project to extend the 5G network.
He said to transform to the 5G network requires the adaptation of the infrastructure and the existent systems in a way that comply with relevant international standards.
Al Abdooli said that the etisalat network is the biggest, fastest and most-modernised mobile network in the region thanks to the ongoing investments that exceeded Dh28 billion over the past years.
The chief executive pointed out that etisalat's 3G network covered 99 per cent, while 4G covers 95 per cent of the densely-populated areas in the UAE.
He noted that the fibre-to-the-home segment witnessed an outstanding growth in the last year.
5G trial in H2 2017
On the trial run of the 5G network in the second half of 2017, Al Abdooli made it clear that etisalat has invested in the 5G network in the country by establishing a modern infrastructure of a huge fibre-optic network, virtual systems and cloud computing technologies and is developing them continuously to serve as a foundation stone to erect the 5G network.
On the future trends in IT and telecommunications technology, he said: "We are on the verge of a key transitional stage, in which digital technology shares the prominent role in shaping the world telecommunications sector."
"The digital transformation constitutes an utmost strategic priority to most of the world companies in the time being. That has prompted us to launch a 'Digital etisalat' unit last year to oversee the digital agenda of the Etisalat Group in all markets around the world. It will be also charged with implementing the digital transformation projects of the group in the local market," he added. "Take for example, etisalat has provided an advanced infrastructure and smart solutions to Dubai Parks and Resorts, one of the most successful smart entertainment projects in the region."
On the local telecommunications market, he said that it is characterised by a high level of competitiveness, as etisalat showed a remarkable marketing activity in the past year by launching numerous offers in the local market - something that definitely benefits customers in the end.
"We always endeavour to present the best experiences to our customers through offering our customers mobile data and calls package at a competitive price and high quality, which they expect from us," he said.
Al Abdooli said that etisalat has a long history in the localisation of its jobs and empowering its staff through lots of programmes and initiatives that target fresh local graduates and Emiratis having ample experience to join etisalat as per their areas of specialisation.
Referring to the current Emiratisation rate at etisalat, Al Abdooli said approximately 47 per cent of etisalat staff are Emirati, with 73 per cent of them currently recruited in senior positions at the company.
Talking about etisalat's leaders, Al Abdooli said: "A company as big as etisalat, which operates in 17 countries, entails us to employ leaders of high professionalism and ability to make decisions."
"We are gearing up to launch this year a new training and orientation programme that will target almost 110 leaders over two years," Al Abdooli said.
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