etisalat by e& plans to focus on 5.5G to gain a business edge


A growing number of telcos have started to move towards 5.5G to further improve the customer experience and provide new and innovative use cases to increase their revenue. e& in the Middle East region is at the forefront of adopting new-age 5.5G technology to provide a superior user experience to their subscribers.

“We believe that next generation 5.5G technology will deliver an ultra-experience, larger bandwidth, higher spectrum efficiency and higher-order modulation. Speeds reaching up to 10 gigabits per second with unmatchable experience. Etisalat is always deeply engaged in the state-of-the-art proof of concept and trials around the 6GHz and around the millimeter wave (mmWave) that will help in spectrum harmonization, resulting in more bandwidth and improving the network experience,” said Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer at Etisalat by e&. He was speaking at the recently concluded Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023.

As the number of consumers join the 5G network and enterprises start to use the technology for improving productivity and efficiency, the 5G networks will not be able to meet the demand. On the other hand, the next generation 6G technology is likely to be commercially deployed only in 2030. The 5.5G will help the telcos address this gap and will enable them to provide exceptional user experience and introduce innovative new use cases.

“In the next few years, the demand from the consumer and enterprise is going to be tripled if not tenfold of the current demand that we are having today. It is forecasted that the future digital and connected world will increase the demand up to tenfold. And 5.5G will address the future network requirements. And before time the networks should be ready for this unprecedented flux of requirements,” explains Khalid Murshed.

5G is already helping Etisalat in providing improved user experience. “Etisalat is very proud of adopting the state-of-the-art technology. We are also very proud of bringing relevant technologies to our consumers and our enterprises. Etisalat runs the highest penetration for fiber to the home globally, and according to the recent benchmarking results, we are also on the top of the world globally when it comes to speed of the 5G network. So, our technology direction always encircles around best user experience for end users, to make the network and infrastructure ready for premium in class services,” says Khalid Murshed.

The company is using cutting-edge technologies in both mobile and fixed networks to provide a truly differentiated experience. It is leveraging Massive MIMO, Wi-Fi 6 and 50 GPON, among others to ensure best-in-class user experience.

“We have also invested in our backhauling because we cannot ignore the importance and the relevance of the backhauling to adopt the state-of-the-art technologies and provide unprecedented speeds to our consumers,” says Khalid Murshed.


Driving sustainability

The communications service providers are under immense pressure to adopt sustainable business practices to bring down carbon emissions and become net zero. Changing regulatory norms coupled with the growing awareness of the end consumers is putting a lot of pressure on the telcos to realign their processes to bring down carbon emissions.

In this regard, Etisalat by e& has adopted several steps to improve sustainability. “Our commitment is to achieve this target by network evolution and network transformation, adopting state-of-the-art products and solutions that are more environmentally friendly, with low carbon emissions and more efficient water and waste management,” says Khalid Murshed.

“Our Environmental Management System is in place to encourage internal collaboration to create initiatives that promote environmental protection. And in 2021, we were re-certified for ISO 14001, the Environmental Management System, which is in place to encourage those initiatives taking place in practical terms,” he added.

Focus on key strategic areas

Etisalat is now focusing on key strategic areas, including driving digital future, accelerating value generation through innovation and digitization, improving its capabilities and developing talents for the future. Khalid Murshed elaborated that the company would be growing its presence in business-to-business segment in a digital way across their footprint. Further, e& would be expanding the portfolio in the MENA region and around the world.

“We will continue to transform to reach the level of excellence that we are aspiring for our customer and for our enterprise market,” says Khalid Murshed.


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