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INNOVATIVE DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

e& plans to invest $6bn to boost connectivity in Mideast, Asia

ABU DHABI, March 2, 2024

UAE telecom major e& has pledged to the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Partner2Connect Digital Coalition, investments worth $6 billion ($1.6 billion) in 2024-26 in technological advancement, infrastructure development, and innovative digital solutions to extend meaningful connectivity to everyone.
 
Announcing this at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the company said this investment is set to provide accessible and affordable network connectivity and digital services across its 16 operating countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
 
Group CEO Hatem Dowidar said: "With Partner2Connect our commitment to building state-of-the-art connectivity has always been part of our DNA. This plays a key role in supporting the advancement of economies that are digitally inclusive while making people’s overall lives better."
 
"With these investments, we can also better serve customers and allow them to engage in more economic activities," he stated. 
 
"As e& pledges to invest $6 billion in digital infrastructure and services, we aim to drive economic growth, innovation, and infrastructure development, significantly reducing inequalities and empowering communities to thrive in a more inclusive and connected digital world," he added.
 
For e& customers in emerging markets, new financial, health, and educational services will increasingly hinge on high-speed connections via fibre or wireless broadband. 
 
Telecom infrastructure will also be crucial in driving access to education, healthcare, government services, and economic opportunities.
 
The group’s markets vary from the UAE, with the world’s fastest mobile network and the highest percentage of fibre penetration, to Pakistan and African countries with limited connectivity, said Dowidar. 
 
With e&’s commitment to the P2C coalition, it will strengthen its innovation capabilities and technology adoption in highly developed markets like Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
 
Group Chief Strategy Officer Harrison Lung said: "Our commitment to ITU’s Partner2Connect Coalition is all about making a meaningful impact on people’s lives, ensuring the digital revolution leaves no one behind. e&’s pledge focuses on building a robust digital ecosystem, empowering communities and connecting people."
 
e&’s pledge aims to provide meaningful connectivity in emerging markets, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Chad, Togo, and Niger, he noted.
 
The group investment plan is set to enhance network accessibility and affordability in emerging economies by expanding network coverage and increasing speed and access for individuals in areas where access is limited or expensive. 
 
It will also facilitate the widespread adoption of digital services, ensuring essential services like mobile financial solutions, telehealth, and education reach those in underserved regions.
 
The group is also set to pioneer cutting-edge innovations, expand the application of AI, and reinvest in building networks of the future to accelerate technology adoption and increase fibre penetration and fast mobile network speeds.-TradeArabia News Service



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