Displaying items by tag: Etisalat

Telecom Review, the leading global telecoms news platform, held a virtual panel on 21 July, attended by 346 participants, to discuss the latest and most pressing issues in the wholesale and capacity space. Telecom Review mobilized an impressively unique panel with representatives from Etisalat, MTN GlobalConnect, PCCW Global, Tata Communications, SES, Orange and GBI.

Following the success of its previous virtual events, the panel titled, ‘Capacity and data traffic: Enabling a seamless experience’, was held at 16:00 UAE time on July 21st.

The session was moderated by Founder of Telecom Review and CEO of Trace Media, Toni Eid, and the panelists included: Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer at Etisalat; Frederic Schepens, CEO of MTN GlobalConnect; Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global; Vaneet Mehta, AVP & Region Head- MECAA at Tata Communications; Elias Zaccack, EVP of Global Sales at SES; Cengiz Oztelcan, CEO of GBI and Emmanual Rochas, CEO, International Carriers at Orange.

The globally renowned panelists discussed the management of the sheer amount of data which was generated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of the cloud in ensuring a seamless remote experience and the challenges that COVID-19 posed to the wholesale industry.

Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer at Etisalat, said, "Organizations were less concerned about security and remote working because of cloud readiness. Everyone has to be cloud equipped and this showed during the pandemic. This was really quite important that people could connect from anywhere and from any device.”

Frederic Schepens, CEO of MTN GlobalConnect, stated, “When COVID-19 hit our operations, we already had more backups and strengthened networks. In certain markets, we saw 30-35% growth. Voice also increased because people were calling each other to make sure everyone was OK. As an industry, we can do a lot of good to make sure we support all these changes with a reliable, robust infrastructure and also ensure that we facilitate the digitization process.”

Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global, said, “The one thing that I’m certain of as a result of COVID-19 is that I’m not certain of anything. The situation has made forecasting an art form. We need to consider as many possibilities as may exist. We don’t know when this issue will be resolved or how governments will deal with it. COVID-19 has demonstrated that anything that is driving new age automation is necessary.”

On the business Impact of COVID 19, Vaneet Mehta, Region Head, Tata Communications, mentioned, “In terms of wholesale segment, we had growth in data traffic, on account of OTT content consumption. But the enterprise segment saw decision making getting delayed.”

Vaneet, was still bullish on the enterprise segment, in markets like Saudi Arabia, UAE and certain select countries of Africa. He also touched upon the recent news of the recent Tata Communications local telecom license in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Elias Zaccack, EVP of Global Sales at SES, said, “Without dismissing the severity of COVID-19, we are seeing is a lot of opportunities.  One of those opportunities is digitization. A lot of countries are moving a lot faster to digitization. What we have realized is just how essential satellites are to the global infrastructure.”

“For many years we’ve been talking about digitalization, we also learnt that most governments are nowhere near being digital especially during the lockdown. We suffered a lot of time wastage in terms of organizing basic processes. Also, security is currently in the back burner because people are just trying to be connected. It’s a good time for us to think about this, but the market will demand better security eventually,” commented Cengiz Oztelcan, CEO of GBI.

Emmanual Rochas, CEO, International Carriers at Orange, said, “This crisis has been dramatic in terms of human impact. It also had a massive impact on our international wholesale business. We have experienced a very strong shift in usage in terms of our businesses. Our networks have either been emptied or overloaded. We have seen an increase in domestic voice whilst international voice suffered. We had a very strong increase in public networks due to increase in consumption of entertainment.”

Published in Infrastructure

In a multi-year partnership, Etisalat has announced that it has teamed up with Microsoft to drive public cloud first strategy through a digital transformation program that enables Etisalat to build a digital platform infused with automation and AI providing a simplified network architecture and operations empowering Etisalat subscribers and improving customer experience.

“Today, Etisalat and Microsoft embark together on a bold new digital transformation journey that will allow us to leverage our industry expertise to deliver the next generation of networks,” said Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Networks, Etisalat.

“Keeping in line with our overall strategy and vision of ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies, we at Etisalat are committed to nothing less than the total transformation of the consumer and business customer experiences. Etisalat today has transitioned to a digital service provider – the provider of choice for digital services among enterprises and SMB customers, supporting them to monetize services to generate new revenue streams. Together with Microsoft, we are building the communications network of the future.”

Microsoft Azure will power the infusion of AI capabilities into Etisalat’s network by expanding Microsoft Azure solutions into the network, and for Etisalat’s new technologies like Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) and Network Edge Computing (NEC).  These will significantly speed up computing at the edge, which combined with 5G, will enable new types of applications related to smart cities, autonomous systems, gaming, AR/VR, IoT, and vision computing solutions.

“Our partnership with Etisalat is further demonstration of the trust regional enterprises place in the intelligent Microsoft Cloud,” said Sayed Hashish, General Manager, Microsoft UAE.

“Our mission is to empower every individual and organization on the planet to achieve more. Etisalat’s digital transformation journey centers on a public-cloud-first strategy including network workloads. Its partnership with Microsoft is designed to merge its telecommunications capabilities with our intelligent cloud solutions, including artificial intelligence and self-healing networks.”

Published in Telecom Operators

Etisalat offers ‘unlimited calling’ with new postpaid plans

Written on Thursday, 14 November 2019 07:41

Etisalat announced the launch of its new ‘Freedom Unlimited’ plans, offering postpaid customers – for the first time in the UAE - unlimited local and international calls on select plans.

With the new ‘Freedom Unlimited’ plans, postpaid customers can choose a plan, based on their need and enjoy complete freedom from calling limits. They can make unlimited calls to mobile, or fixed numbers in the UAE, or majority of international destinations – enabling them to talk non-stop with their loved ones, freely connect with their families back home and enjoy peace of mind.

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat, said: “At Etisalat, we are committed to providing top-notch benefits and bringing in customer-centric innovations that focus on fulfilling our customers’ needs. For postpaid mobile customers, we have constantly introduced best-in-value propositions to meet their growing and changing usage trends.

Etisalat’s ‘Freedom’ journey began with the ‘Your choice….your rules” with the freedom from plans commitment, followed by ‘Roam like Home’ that enables Freedom postpaid customers to continue enjoying local allowances while travelling overseas. We, at Etisalat, are keen on keeping the momentum of ‘Freedom’ going by offering the UAE’s first ‘Unlimited Calling’ options to give our customers the freedom to make unlimited calls whenever they want.”

Postpaid customers also stand to benefit from the limited time ‘Double Data’ promo without any additional charge when they subscribe to one of the eligible new Freedom plans. They can enjoy double data benefit for 12 months, starting from the day of activation.

Additionally, customers can either choose a no commitment option and enjoy complete freedom from a postpaid plan, or get a contract to save more. Customers also avail great benefits at a fair price, and enjoy ‘Smiles Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1’ subscription worth AED 20 a month for unlimited discount vouchers on shopping, dining, wellness and travel.

With ‘Roam Like Home’ access starting from just AED 100/ week, customers can use their local data and minutes on the new ‘Freedom Unlimited’ plans, while roaming across Etisalat’s preferred roaming partners globally. ‘Freedom Unlimited’ customers will also enjoy 100 Wi-Fi hours per month at more than 350 locations, including shopping malls across the UAE when they connect to ‘UAE WiFi by Etisalat’.

Published in Telecom Operators

Nokia and Etisalat have set a capacity record during the world’s first field trial of single-carrier terabit-per-second data transmission on a deployed fiber network.

A terabit-per-second is enough bandwidth to download the entire Game of Thrones video series in HD in under two seconds. This comes as Etisalat is investing heavily in its core network infrastructure in anticipation of the massive increase in traffic from high bandwidth services.

The Nokia field trial demonstrates that Etisalat’s existing network can support the higher optical wavelength bit rates that will be required to support high-bandwidth services such as 5G extreme mobile broadband (very fast wireless to the mobile), fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and Data Center Interconnect (DCI) cloud services.

Higher bit rates per wavelength provide power and space savings, improved network simplicity, increased spectral efficiency and capacity, and ultimately reduced cost per bit compared to optical networks composed of lower rate channels.

The trial successfully transmitted a record 50.8 terabits per second using multiple wavelengths, each with a net information rate of 1.3 terabits per second, over a 93-km fiber route of Etisalat’s wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) network. Leveraging a single optical carrier operating at 100 Gigabaud, the terabit wavelengths employed Nokia Bell Labs-pioneered probabilistic constellation shaping, or PCS, to intelligently shape the signal to achieve maximum capacity for the specific fiber route. Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine 3 – now shipping to customers as part of Nokia’s 1830 portfolio – is the first coherent digital signal processor to implement PCS.

Esmaeel Alhammadi, Senior Vice President, Network Development at Etisalat, said, "We are pleased to have partnered with Nokia Bell Labs to demonstrate that our optical network is capable of transporting a terabit per second over a single wavelength, and a total per-fiber capacity of over 50 terabits-per-second.  Increasing network capacity helps us to provide bandwidth-hungry services such as 5G extreme mobile broadband, fiber-to-the-home and DCI for enterprises.”

Sam Bucci, Head of Optical Networking at Nokia, said, “The introduction of 5G will require a network that can support dramatic increases in bandwidth in a dynamic fashion. This ground-breaking trial with Etisalat is testimony to Nokia’s commitment to continue to invest in coherent and optical component technologies required to meet the 5G networking challenge at the lowest total cost of ownership for our customers.”

Nokia has a long history of advancing the frontiers of optical transmission. It was the first to demonstrate single-carrier 100G transmission in a deployed production network in 2007, and the first to commercialize single-carrier 100G and 200G wavelengths in 2010 and 2013, respectively. More recently, the Nokia Bell Labs optical research team published the world’s first terabit-per-second transmission lab trials in 2015 and 2017.  By extending these records to a deployed operator network, Nokia Bell Labs is bringing the age of terabit wavelength networks a big step closer to reality.

Details of the trial have been published in a post-deadline paper at the European Conference on Optical Communication, held last week in Dublin, Ireland.

Published in Satellite Industry

Etisalat and Huawei unveil HUAWEI Mate 20 X 5G device

Written on Thursday, 11 July 2019 11:32

 Following the successful launch of the first 5G commercial device in the UAE, Etisalat and Huawei today unveiled Huawei's first commercial 5G-enabled smartphone HUAWEI Mate 20 X (5G) at Etisalat’s ultra-modern Open Innovation Centre in Dubai in the presence of Etisalat and Huawei senior management and the media.

Published in Gadget

UAE telecom operator Etisalat’s former Nigerian operation, rebranded as 9mobile, will be purchased for $500 million by investment firm Teleology Holdings. An auction was held for the troubled operator, which became a new brand in the Nigerian telecom market in mid-2017 after Etisalat pulled out of the country.

The auction for 9mobile was supervised by Barclays Africa, which picked the highest bidder after four companies were shortlisted. Pan-African telecoms group Smile made a bid for $300 million and is said to be the reserve bidder. Nigerian operator Globacom also made a bid for an undisclosed amount, as did Helios Investment Partners.

Both Teleology Holdings and Smile have thirty days to prove they have the financial resources to pay for 9mobile. It was reported that Airtel Nigeria pulled out of the auction to purchase the operator because “too many things are hidden about the health of 9mobile”.

One area of concern is that two weeks ago, a Lagos high court in Nigeria ordered the board of 9mobile’s parent company, Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service (EMTS), to disband, after a judge claimed it had been established without authority.

The court's decision was made after Spectrum Wireless Communication, a company that invested $35 million in EMTS in 2009, claimed the board's approval was not in line with its interests and called for its contributions to the operator to be recognized. Now, United Capital Trustees, which is handling the sale of 9mobile, is appealing the court order.

The sale of 9mobile was entrusted to United Capital Trustees after it defaulted on repayments of a $1.2 billion load that was given to it by multiple banks. The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) supported the EMTS board, and had received bids from five parties for the sale of 9mobile.

The sale of 9mobile was extended in early January 2018 by the NCC to January 16 after the original closing date passed with no final decision. Reports speculated that the decision would be further delayed after a Spectrum Wireless Communication solicitor said anyone "who transacts business for the purpose of sale or acquisition of EMTS or 9mobile does so at his own risk."

9mobile became a new brand in the Nigerian telecom market in mid-2017 after its previous owner, Etisalat, and an investment fund, defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan. The operator, formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, was saved by regulators. 9mobile is currently the fourth largest operator in Nigeria.

Published in Finance

9mobile’s parent company hit with Nigerian court order

Written on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 08:29

Nigerian telecom operator 9mobile, formerly Etisalat Nigeria, is facing turbulent times. A Lagos high court in Nigeria ordered the board of the operator’s parent company, Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service (EMTS), to disband, after a judge claimed it had been established without authority.

The court’s decision was made after Spectrum Wireless Communication, a company that invested $35 million in EMTS in 2009, claimed the board’s approval was not in line with its interests and called for its contributions to the operator to be recognized. Now, United Capital Trustees, which is handling the sale of 9mobile, is appealing the court order.

The sale of 9mobile was entrusted to United Capital Trustees after it defaulted on repayments of a $1.2 billion load that was given to it by multiple banks. The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) supported the EMTS board, and had received bids from five parties for the sale of 9mobile.

The sale of 9mobile was extended in early January 2018 by the NCC to January 16 after the original closing date passed with no final decision. Reports speculate that the decision will likely be further delayed after a Spectrum Wireless Communication solicitor said anyone “who transacts business for the purpose of sale or acquisition of EMTS or 9mobile does so at her own risk.”

9mobile became a new brand in the Nigerian telecom market in mid-2017 after its previous owner, UAE telecom company Etisalat, and an investment fund, defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan. The operator, formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, was saved by regulators. 9mobile is currently the fourth largest operator in Nigeria.

Published in Telecom Operators

Etisalat UAE announced its first VoLTE (Voice over LTE) call over Cat-M1 IoT network in the region setting the future roadmap to deploy advanced networks to meet demands for diversified mobile broadband and communication services for IoT.

Etisalat maintains a strong leadership position in IoT technology and solutions with a history of firsts, including the first deployment of a nationwide LTE Cat-M1 network in July this year. This deployment was a revolutionary change and set a benchmark in the IoT ecosystem.

A game-changer for the industry, Cat M1 (Category M1) is a new class of LTE chipset that is designed for sensors. They require less power, offer extended battery life, wide coverage, flexible deployment, low latency and support an array of use cases ranging from water meters to asset trackers to consumer electronics.

The demonstration was conducted in partnership with Qualcomm Technologies using Etisalat’s IoT and VoLTE capable network infrastructure and IoT devices with Qualcomm MDM9206 global multimode LTE IoT modems.

Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network, Etisalat said: “We are proud to showcase our leadership and innovation in conducting this first trial which is an industry first and is important as we need to stay ahead of the technology evolution for our customers to provide them services on the best and most advanced wireless network. With Etisalat moving into a digital future the investment and deployment of new technologies and services are critical to achieve this future goal for the company and the country.”

This technology will enable applications across different industries and areas, such as smart homes, industrial monitoring, asset tracking, healthcare, retail, smart cities, wearables, and much more. 

Cat M1 is important because it extends LTE’s market reach. By allowing LTE to cost effectively support lower data-rate applications, Cat M1 is being touted as a good fit for low-power sensing and monitoring devices such as health and fitness wearables, utility meters, and vending machines, among many others.

Published in Telecom Operators

Etisalat shares its cloudification journey in new white paper

Written on Monday, 13 November 2017 07:20

UAE-based telecommunications provider Etisalat Group collaborated with Huawei and Deloitte to launch a joint white paper titled ‘From Pipelines to Clouds – Etisalat’s Playbook’ that intends to share lessons learned from Etisalat’s road towards becoming a cloud-native telco.

“Cloud computing presents unique opportunities for Etisalat to attain sustainable growth in the emerging digital ecosystem,” said Hatem Bamatraf, Chief Technology Officer at Etisalat Group. “Our aim is to deliver a differentiated service experience to empower a digital and happier society.”

The launch of the white paper is part of a collaboration made amongst the three companies for a joint innovation program focused around a playbook on how to implement multiple exponential technologies that constitute a digital transformation journey through a technology perspective.

The companies believe that a future Telco Cloud will require different telecom network infrastructure and system architecture to address customers’ digital needs in order to deliver intelligent, quicker, more reliable value added services.

“Network transformation should be considered as an opportunity to deploy an experience oriented agile network and operating model rather than an imperative compulsion to address short-term business challenges,” said Peng Xiongji, President Etisalat Key Account at Huawei Technologies.

The white paper underlines the vision of Etisalat Group to harness its technological vision and key industry advances to provide innovative premium and differentiated service experiences for customers.

The adaption of new architecture and processes outlined in the paper will enable Etisalat Group to devise a practical road-map for the adaption of SDN and NFV technologies in addition to cutting edge techs such as MEC, AI, Machine Learning, 5G and so on.

This will greatly assist Etisalat Group to reassure the path to the envisioned scenario of achieving a cost effective infrastructure which enables Etisalat to launch innovative products coped with future time to market.

Published in Telecom Operators

Etisalat announced the successful completion of the first MENA IPTV (Internet Protocol television) service over an existing WTTx (4G) network trial. The trial is the first of its kind over an existing LTE network, and opens the doors to advanced 5G-era streaming services like IPTV over existing wireless networks.

WTTx (4G) provides fast access to home broadband markets over existing LTE networks, enabling operators to quickly launch IPTV services, and greatly improving ROI by finding the right synergy between WTTx and FTTx.

Etisalat launched commercial use of WTTx (4G) based wireless broadband internet access and voice services with abundance of 3.5 GHz spectrum last year. The announcement is the start of a new journey as the regional first wireless IPTV and Video-On-Demand (VOD) services, which are based on 4G/LTE customer-premises equipment (CPE) and set top boxes (STBs). Furthermore, this innovative service will pave the way for Etisalat to lead 5G in the world.

Saeed AlZarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network, Etisalat said, “IPTV over WTTx will revolutionize TV service availability for Etisalat customers, making it seamless for them to watch subscription-based e-Life TV content across Etisalat’s 4G networks. Etisalat customers are becoming more reliant on Home Broadband (HBB) services; therefore, offering rich TV entertainment over our LTE network will address this requirement and meet their growing need for rich and varied content.”

AlZarouni added, “A WTTx solution also creates an opportunity for us to maximize existing LTE investments and capacity while improving returns as it provides immediate delivery for IPTV home entertainment.”

Published in Telecom Operators
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