Etisalat to invest over $800m in network in 2017

Etisalat Group CEO Saleh Al Abdooli said UAE telco has invested over $8bn in network upgrades
Etisalat to invest over $800m in network in 2017
Etisalat plans to invest more than $800 million to develop and modernise its infrastructure, expand existing mobile and fibre optic networks and implement new technologies, according to Etisalat Group CEO Saleh Al Abdooli.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Sun 08 Oct 2017 09:02 AM

Etisalat plans to invest more than AED3 billion ($817 million) to develop and modernise its infrastructure, expand existing mobile and fibre optic networks and implement new technologies, according to Etisalat Group CEO Saleh Al Abdooli.

Speaking to local media ahead of GITEX Technology Week, Al Abdooli said that over the last several years the company has already invested approximately AED31 billion ($8.44 billion) into its networks.

As a result of these investments, 3G network coverage has reached 99.58 percent, while 4G LTE coverage stands at 97.78 percent. According to Al Abdooli, Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) penetration stands at 93.28 percent – the highest in the world.

Al Abdooli added that Etisalat is currently working on completing its 5G network ahead of 2020, and is preparing the IT infrastructure for Dubai Expo 2020 so that it becomes “one of the fastest, smartest and most advanced networks in the world to ensure that visitors enjoy an exciting, digitally enhanced experience.”

In an interview with Gulf News ahead of GITEX, Al Abdooli said that 5G connectivity will play a “huge role in laying the foundation for smart city development.”

“5G technologies and networks have gained relevance largely due to the surging adoption of internet-enabled devices connected globally via the Internet of Things,” he said. “With its implementation, 5G will provide opportunities for economic growth, education, employment, transportation and more.”

Additionally, Al Abdooli said that Etisalat plans to conduct field tests this year in a bid to achieve highest efficiency and the “highest possible speed” as it develops its 5G network.

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