Etisalat is in discussion with the Expo 2020 office to transform the Expo 2020 site as the first and smartest district of the future, said HE Ahmad Julfar, Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group.
Speaking at the GSMA Mobile 360 – Middle East conference on ‘Building Connected Societies’, Mr. Julfar said that Etisalat has the extensive ICT expertise and digital value proposition to provide end-to-end, scalable and innovative infrastructure that will help achieve the leadership’s vision to host the ‘best Expo that the world has witnessed.’
He said that “The proposed smart transformation of the Expo 2020 site will build on Etisalat’s plans to introduce the fifth generation (5G) mobile network in the UAE, just in time to host the 25 million visitors expected to visit Expo 2020.” “We are ready to take the big leap into the future of the telecom industry with the UAE becoming the world’s first nation to roll out the 5G network,” he added.
Equidistant between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the Expo Dubai site will be serviced by three international airports and a world class road and transport system to ensure ease of access and seamless operations for both participants and visitors. The Expo in Dubai deserves a world-class telecom system which will enhance visitor experience and position the UAE as the best in the world.
Mr. Julfar said this will also help accomplish the goals of the UAE Vision 2021 to rank the nation first globally in the overall ICT infrastructure, Online Services Index and the Network Readiness Index as the UAE celebrates its 50th year of formation in 2021.
He added that the UAE has set clearly defined objectives and created a world-class telecom infrastructure that is well ahead of any other country in the region. “The introduction of the 5G network will significantly enhance the standard of government service delivery and bring unmatched value to industry and the public.”
Mr. Julfar said that Etisalat has deep expertise in managing large-scale projects and in delivering complex projects for the government and the private sector. “We are a part of the Federal Government Network (FedNet) that connects 42 federal government entities with one common platform. We have also been involved in the Smart Dubai initiative in the selection process of building the Dubai City Platform. Most recently, we provided the Federal National Council with the Cloud Solution for the FNC Elections and managed the entire FNC Voting Cloud.”
Etisalat’s strong geographic footprint with a presence in 19 countries and a subscriber base of over 168 million, as well as the impressive industry-firsts in the UAE, position the company firmly in delivering all the advanced suite of tech-solutions that the Expo 2020 demands, said Mr. Julfar.
“We are a global connectivity provider with footprint across participating nations in the Expo. In the UAE, we have core assets, strategic partnerships, proven operating processes and the best team of experts. With over 1.4 million homes, we have set the world’s highest fibre connected network in the UAE, and our 15 state-of-the-art data centres manage 72 per cent of the market share.”
Highlighting his vision for the telecom sector, Mr. Julfar said that the opportunity for growth and expansion, particularly in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, are tremendous. “Three key factors will catalyse the growth of the telecom sector: The low penetration levels in the fast-growing markets of Asia and Africa; the youth demographic in these markets; and the power of the telecom sector to leapfrog development and move entire communities to enjoy the benefits of the latest ICT technologies without carrying the burden of legacy systems.”
Mr. Julfar said that the telecom industry has evolved from serving as an enabler of growth to setting the agenda for human progress and development by opening doors to the digital economy. “A 10 per cent growth in broadband penetration can bring up to 1.2 per cent additional growth in GDP. Within the next 10 years, ICT-related activity will account for over 50 per cent of the world’s growth adding trillions of dollars of economic benefit,” concluded Mr. Julfar.