Etisalat plans to connect all households in the UAE to its FTTH network next year, and has earmarked $15 billion for investment in its overall networks globally in the next five years, the company's directors told delegates at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit yesterday.
Ahmed Julfar, Etisalat's chief operating officer, said that the UAE could become the first country in the world to have all households covered by a fibre-to-the-home network in 2012. He added that Etisalat had almost completed the deployment of its FTTH network in Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Omran, CEO, Etisalat, said that Etisalat intends to invest some $15 billion in its networks in the UAE and abroad, in the next five years.
Omran added that Etisalat would also be focusing on content, including the roll out of IPTV services in the coming year. "With the saturation of markets in the GCC and the proliferation of advanced broadband technologies, both fixed and mobile, telecom service providers have [taken on] the role as broadcasters of wide range of content to their customers. In addition, content services provide a solid platform for service differentiation in this new era of telecom market liberalisation," he said.
Omran pointed to research that indicates that by 2015, the total number of connected devices will reach 7 billion globally, while "computing-centric" devices will amount to 50 billion.
"In this new era of mobile broadband and connected devices, the data-consumption trends call for increased bandwidth and advanced technologies to support the massive data traffic volume.
"It makes it pertinent for telecom service providers today, to invest in futuristic, next-gen broadband infrastructures, as has Etisalat in the fibre-optic network and fourth generation LTE wireless network across the UAE," he said.
Omran added that operatos would also need to work more closely with media companies and hardware vendors to create a successful business model for content.
"In order to provide premium content whenever, wherever on whichever connected device that the customer requires, a successful business model calls for strong partnerships forged between telcos, media companies and hardware vendors," he said.