UAE telecom plans to invest $15 billion to expand its network structure in UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Speaking at the recently concluded Abu Dhabi Media Summit, Etisalat chairman Mohammad Omran said the telecom operator plans to invest $15 billion in enhancement and development of its network in UAE and Saudi Arabia over the next five years. Etsialat had already invested $5 billion in fibre optics and plans to invest further as it believes the technology will bring the “right speed” to the customer.
“I think fibre is the backbone for this new media, to connect the customer with the right speed,” Omran said. “That is why we have invested heavily in fibre, and we continue…not only in UAE, but also in Saudi Arabia and other markets as well.”
Omran also sees an increase mobile data usage as the ‘media and the telecom industry continue to converge’.
‘Four years ago in 2007 when we got a license in Egypt there was basically very little mobile data. Today, Etisalat has more than 30 terabyte per day in Egype alone,” he said. He added that Etisalat currently holds half the market of data in Egypt.
Etisalat also plans to roll-out IPTV in the country over the next few weeks.
“We want to be the first to adopt IPTV [Internet Protocol Television] on a large scale,” he said. “There will a lot of gaming, high definition and the like.
“LTE, or Long Term Evolution, which brings high speed broadband connectivity everywhere, is still at an early stage, but we have decided to be among the early adapters,” he said, adding that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are the first two countries where etisalat aims to provide the service.
LTE will give customers up to 150 megabytes per second. “We can see how cost is going down and speed is going up,” he said.
All that’s great, Etisalat. Just don’t impose usage policies.