Media Centre

March 2024

· Updated extension brings autism-friendly browsing to smartphones

· New AI-powered tool summarises information, reducing sensory overload

e& today announced the launch of ‘Wider Web’ for mobile device browsers, coinciding with World Autism Awareness Day. The free-to-use browser extension caters for the needs of autistic users by offering a customisable, sensory-friendly web-browsing experience, highlighting e&'s commitment to digital inclusion.

The launch of Wider Web for mobile follows the debut of Wider Web for desktop computer browsing. First introduced in 2021 in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development (MoCD), the groundbreaking solution revolutionised accessibility, empowering individuals on the autism spectrum to navigate the internet with ease and confidence. The free browser extension, which instantly transforms a standard web page into an autistic-friendly one, represents a project of collaborative design as it was developed with the help of local psychologists and widely tested by users with autism.

As the first tool of its kind dedicated to users with autism, the extension offers a calmer browsing experience by blocking distracting pop-ups, disabling video auto-play, customising fonts, adjusting colours, and simplifying the interface of most websites. Building on the existing benefits, the newly released mobile extension also features an AI-powered summariser, an intuitive tool that condenses lengthy articles into clear, concise paragraphs, making information easier to digest.

85% of autistic users choose to disable video autoplay

Ongoing research conducted by the University of Birmingham Dubai and Dr. Shereen Sharaan, a Postdoctoral Researcher in Psychology, have backed Wider Web’s significance in enhancing the lives of autistic individuals. The study, which focused on 160 autistic adults from diverse ethnic backgrounds, found that 85 per cent of users with autism want to exercise more control over their digital experience by disabling video autoplay. This was closely followed by the personalised 'colour schemes' feature which lets users choose their preferred colour, either dark, medium, or light grey.

Dr. Shereen Sharaan said: “The web can easily become overwhelming to people with autism. Thanks to e&, Wider Web simplifies the way some people experience the web by curating the user experience for people who are on the autism spectrum.”

Through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives like the Wider Web extension, e& empowers communities by ensuring digital experiences are inclusive and accessible for everyone. Wider Web is an open-source technology, enabling anyone to contribute to its constant improvement and wider adoption.

Download the Wider Web browser extension for Safari and Firefox now.

  • Telco to leverage MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet services and LSO APIs to deliver more holistic digital solutions
  • MEF is a non-profit industry collaboration forum of network, cloud and technology providers

e& UAE announced its membership in MEF, a global industry association of network, cloud, security, and technology providers. This move underscores the digital telco’s commitment to delivering world-class network solutions and enabling seamless connectivity for its customers across the region.

As a member, e& UAE will become part of MEF's exclusive ecosystem of over 200 leading technology, cloud, and network providers. It will also introduce MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet services and Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) automation API standards aligned to MEF’s Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) Industry Blueprint, reinforcing its commitment to delivering comprehensive automated digital connectivity solutions.

Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer (CTIO), e& UAE, said: “At e& UAE, we are dedicated to shaping the future of connectivity at every opportunity. Our membership in MEF and the launch of MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet services and LSO APIs reflect our commitment to delivering tangible benefits to our valued customers. This initiative enables us to lead the market with cutting-edge services, meet partner demands for reliable solutions, and expedite our digital transformation journey. Consequently, this translates into faster service delivery, enhanced customer experiences, and solidifies our position as a prominent digital service provider in the region."

Kevin Vachon, Chief Operating Officer, MEF, said: “We are delighted to welcome e& UAE as a new member from the Gulf Region, bringing unique perspectives and expertise to our global ecosystem. By leveraging MEF's standards, certifications, LSO APIs and NaaS Industry Blueprint, which enables providers to develop and deliver innovative offerings, e& UAE can unlock a range of benefits and access to a collaborative, automated ecosystem that will enable them to deliver an even more compelling value proposition to their customers. We foresee e& UAE thriving as a MEF and helping to shape the future of assured services across the region and beyond."

MEF is a global industry association of network, cloud, security, and technology providers working together to accelerate digital transformation. The organisation plays a pivotal role in delivering service standards, LSO frameworks, APIs, and comprehensive training and certification programmes for services, technologies, and professionals. Its NaaS Industry Blueprint is designed to help service providers develop, mrarket, and deliver the next generation of NaaS offerings.

Together with its members, MEF developed the MEF 3.0 global services framework, a practical approach to service delivery enabling the automation of standardised Carrier Ethernet, IP, Optical Transport, SD-WAN, Security-as-a-Service, and various other digital services across multiple provider networks.

Seamless interoperability with partner ecosystems and automation is vital in e& UAE’s strategy to delivering holistic digital innovations. With industry-backed tools and services, the MEF 3.0 connectivity service and LSO APIs will enable etisalat by e& to improve customer experience and reduce time to market on service offerings. This, in turn, will reduce operating costs, resulting in improved margins and enhanced wholesale offerings.

Third edition of the awards to recognise exemplary businesses across 14 categories

e& UAE today announced the opening of nominations for the highly anticipated SMB Awards 2024. In its third edition, the SMB Awards have become the benchmark for recognising and celebrating outstanding achievements of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in the UAE.

This year’s SMB Awards will feature 14 distinct categories and are open to organisations that have been operating for over three years and have successfully implemented transformative digital projects contributing to their success. The event will shine a spotlight on companies with exemplary practices in areas such as innovation, business excellence, and digital transformation among others.

Applications for the prestigious SMB Awards 2024 are now open, and companies can nominate their business at etisalat.ae/smbawards2024. A panel of judges, consisting of industry leaders from diverse sectors, will meticulously evaluate all eligible submissions based on multiple criteria. The review process will also be managed and audited by Kreston Menon, a leading audit, business consultancy and accounting firm in the UAE which is affiliated with Kreston Global.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, SMB of e& UAE, said: “SMBs remain the backbone of the UAE’s private sector, and they continue to be an indispensable focus for us. It gives me immense pride that through the SMB Awards, which have become a hallmark of excellence, we can pay tribute to visionary leaders and outstanding companies for their relentless efforts and remarkable achievements in the business landscape.”

e& UAE will unveil the winners at an exclusive gala ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the UAE business community across 14 categories:

  • Emirati Business Award
  • Artificial Intelligence Award
  • Robotics and Automation Award
  • Technology Award
  • Social Impact Award
  • Women in Business Award
  • Construction & Real Estate Award
  • Healthcare Award
  • Retail Award
  • Hospitality Award
  • Sustainability Award
  • E-Commerce Award
  • Media & Marketing Award
  • SMB of the Year

SMBs play an indispensable role in driving the UAE’s economic development and diversification, and they are an invaluable part of the country’s long-term vision and growth. As of 2023, the sector contributes a significant 63.5 per cent to the nation’s non-oil GDP. Currently, they represent a significant 94 per cent of the companies operating in the country, employing approximately 86 per cent of the private sector workforce.

Over the years, e& UAE has played an instrumental role in empowering SMBs with tailor-made solutions that enable them to grow their business and stay ahead of the curve amid a competitive regional landscape. “The SMB Awards underscore our unwavering commitment to championing organisations that form the bedrock of our economic progress. By highlighting and honouring the accomplishments of SMBs, we aim to provide them with well-deserved recognition while inspiring and motivating others to strive for excellence and innovation,” said Mahmoud.

For more information about the SMB Awards 2024 and the nomination process, please visit etisalat.ae/smbawards2024.

e& enterprise and The National Health Insurance Company – Daman, part of PureHealth, the largest integrated healthcare platform in the Middle East, today unveiled the innovative Hyakum Digital Booth, a visionary concept designed to redefine health insurance accessibility and improve customer service in the United Arab Emirates.

 

The ‘Hayakom Digital Booth’, a first in the global health insurance sector, ushers in unparalleled 24/7 insurance service accessibility. This pioneering venture is set to commence with a Proof of Concept (POC) in two prime locations, heralding an ambitious expansion to over 20 sites within three years.

 

Harnessing the synergy of IoT and AI, the state-of-the-art self-service health insurance kiosks will be ingeniously connected to a central command centre, ensuring maximum operational efficiency and a high service experience. The kiosks will feature Emirates ID biometric and identity verification, interactive touchscreens, high-security video surveillance and advanced document scanning, all supported by a robust data infrastructure powered by 5G.

 

Salvador Anglada, CEO, e& enterprise said, "Our venture with Daman embodies e& enterprise's drive for digital innovation and commitment to creating unparalleled customer experiences. The Hayakom Digital Booth is a leap into the future, reshaping the insurance services landscape with cutting-edge technology."

 

Khaled Ateeq Aldhaheri, Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Company – Daman, said: "The Hayakom Digital Booth marks a milestone in the accessibility, efficiency and robustness of insurance services. This ground-breaking concept places Daman at the forefront of industry innovation and reinforces our commitment to delivering exceptional customer service."

 

This initiative is a cornerstone of Daman's strategic progression, establishing a unique value proposition in customer engagement and operational efficiency. It marks a move towards a more cost-effective service model that aligns with the UAE's sustainability goals to reduce the environmental footprint of traditional insurance practices, while enhancing the customer experience and broadening access to services.

 

Together, Daman and e& enterprise will pave a new way for customer service in the health insurance industry, while setting a new standard for technology integration and user-centric convenience in everyday transactions.

  • Virtual sessions, endorsed by the UAE Ministry of Education (MoE)
  • Teachers and students benefit from free AI, programming, and web development workshops
  • e&’s CSR initiatives empower communities by transferring knowledge and resources

e& today announced the 2024 edition of its virtual coding camp, created to empower students and teachers with the essential technical skills to navigate and succeed in today's dynamic digital world.

Following the success of previous workshops, this year, the free educational sessions took place virtually from 25th - 28th March, conducted by the Emirates ICT Innovation Centre (EBTIC), the ICT research and innovation centre established by e&, BT, and Khalifa University of Science and Technology and supported by the ICT Fund.

His Excellency Dr. Hassan Obaid AlMheiri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Planning and Educational Services sector at the Ministry of Education, noted that the partnership with e& will help equip students and educators with the skills and knowledge to navigate and succeed in the AI era. His Excellency AlMheiri said: “At the Ministry of Education, we believe that impactful cross-sectorial partnerships and collaborations with private sector partners pave the way to nurture future generations that can innovate, create and build a brighter future for our nation. When embracing new innovative technologies such as AI, and programming, we not only unlock the full potential of our students and educators to compete on the global stage, but also empower them to be ready to excel in our rapidly changing world”.

 Through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives like the MoE-endorsed virtual coding camp, e& empowers communities by transferring knowledge and resources through free workshops leveraging EBTIC's resources and academy.

The virtual coding camp, open to UAE public and private school students and teachers from grade seven and above, includes introductory sessions to AI (using Weka), programming (using Python), web development (using Streamlit), and optimisation (using genetic algorithms). Each two-hour session takes place between 1:15 pm and 3:15 pm over four days.

Dr. Nawaf I. Almoosa, Director, Emirates ICT Innovation Centre (EBTIC), Interim Director, Khalifa Innovation Center (KIC), and Assistant Professor, Computer & Communication Engineering, Khalifa University, said: “We are delighted to offer our expertise and become part of this joint initiative by e& and the UAE Ministry of Education for the virtual coding camp for high school students. This reflects Khalifa University’s consistent commitment towards contributing to building and developing skills in essential areas relevant to creating the next generation of decision-makers. This course also reflects the advanced technology areas that EBTIC specialises in, especially machine learning, algorithms, and programming. We believe this course will immensely benefit the participants and will motivate them to explore science, engineering, and technology for further academic pursuits.”

The virtual coding camp is part of e&'s ongoing efforts to support UAE education and build on the group's previous collaborations with MoE, where virtual cybersecurity awareness sessions were held for schools to promote a culture of online safety and enhance future generations' digital resilience. In 2023, the virtual coding camp upskilled more than 700 students.

The interactive workshops will be held virtually to facilitate seamless participation for students and teachers, allowing them to conveniently engage from the comfort of their homes or classrooms.

Virtual coding camp timetable

 01:15 pm to 03:15 pm (two hours)

Monday, 25th March

Introduction to AI: use cases using Weka

Tuesday, 26th March

Introduction to programming: using Python

Wednesday, 27th March

Introduction to web development: using Streamlit

Thursday, 28th March

Introduction to optimisation: using genetic algorithms

e& UAE, the telecom arm of e&, and Corning Incorporated, a global leader in optical-communications innovation, have collaborated to introduce Fibre-to-the-Yacht (FTTY) connectivity at Yas Marina. The collaboration seamlessly integrates e& UAE’s advanced solutions with Corning's cutting-edge pre-terminated fibre optic cables, bringing transformative connectivity to the water’s edge.

With the introduction of e& UAE's FTTY solution, 138 yachts were connected with Corning’s fibre optic cables. Yacht owners at Yas Marina can now enjoy a next-generation digital experience, offering exceptional speed, unparalleled reliability, and seamless online connectivity for work, entertainment, and communication. This initiative aligns with e& UAE’s commitment to providing cutting-edge technology to its customers wherever they are located.

Marwan Bin Shakar, Senior Vice President, Access Network Development, e& UAE, said: “We are excited about the successful implementation of FTTY services that seamlessly combines speed, reliability and innovation ensuring uninterrupted connectivity on the water. As we embark on this new era of maritime communication, we’re excited to collaborate with Corning to bring enhanced digital experiences to all the yacht owners at Yas Marina.”

Corning's state-of-the-art pre-terminated solution has streamlined the deployment process, enabling e& UAE to offer a reliable and high-speed internet connection to yacht owners. This collaboration reflects a shared commitment to efficiency and excellence.

Tadeu Viana, Vice President, Sales EMEA, Carrier Networks, at Corning said: “We are pleased that e& UAE introduced this transformative FTTY service at Yas Marina, utilising Corning's advanced pre-terminated fibre optic solution. Corning is working with our customers around the globe to bring the benefits of high-speed fibre connectivity to more and more people. It’s remarkable to see all the places fibre is going – on land and water. This collaboration marks a noteworthy milestone, as it enables access to reliable connectivity at any time for the Marina community.”

The collaboration between e& UAE and Corning underscores a dedication to future-proofing the network infrastructure, ensuring that emerging digital needs are catered for, and customers benefit from being at the forefront of technological advancements.

The Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority (ADSSA) announced the launch of the “House Visit and Interviews Management System'', developed in partnership with e& enterprise. The initiative marks a significant milestone in ADSSA’s continuous endeavours to drive digital transformation to enhance the efficiency and impact of its social support services for limited-income families in Abu Dhabi. 

The “House Visit and Interviews Management System'' is designed to help ADSSA employees streamline their field visits to beneficiary families. It provides a central interface for customers and beneficiaries, offering updated information about their requests and living conditions. The system also integrates advanced mapping technologies for precise travel planning and includes a feedback module for customers to share their visit experiences, promoting continuous service enhancement.

His Excellency Abdulla Humaid Al Ameri, Director General of Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority, said: “At ADSSA, we are committed to adopting top-notch solutions to support the digital transformation of our administrative and field services and activities. This new system, developed in partnership with e& enterprise, incorporates the latest features of IoT & AI, marking a significant milestone in our continued efforts to improve our efficiency. We will continue to work diligently to ensure the satisfaction of our customers and beneficiaries with limited income in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”

Al Ameri added: “The deployment of “House Visit and Interviews Management System” is a testament to ADSSA’s commitment to adopting innovative solutions for enhanced service delivery in line with the directives of the Abu Dhabi government. This initiative not only amplifies our capabilities but also significantly contributes to enriching the social support ecosystem in Abu Dhabi.”

Salvador Anglada, CEO, e& enterprise said: “We're proud to partner with ADSSA in this transformative project, showcasing e& enterprise's commitment to advancing government digital transformation. The successful implementation of the 'House Visit and Interviews Management System' reflects our dedication to using innovative technology for societal benefit, setting a new standard in efficient and effective social support services.”

 The system is meticulously designed to automate and optimise key processes like application management, visit scheduling, and reporting. It provides a comprehensive platform for ADSSA’s Assessment Team to efficiently manage applications, field visits, and reports.

A notable aspect of this project is the automated resource allocation and workload balancing, which facilitates accurate resource deployment, reduces the time required to provide services, and significantly boosts organisational KPIs. 

  • Yahsat’s Direct-to-Device (D2D) strategy aims to enhance global connectivity by directly enabling smartphone users and IoT devices to harness the capabilities of SpaceTech, irrespective of their location
  • Two leading companies join forces to drive global connectivity forward as part of Yahsat’s recently launched D2D strategy – Project SKY

Abu Dhabi, 14th March 2024: e& UAE and Al Yah Satellite Communications Company, the UAE’s flagship satellite solutions provider signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

According to this MoU, e& UAE is set to become the first telecom operator to partner with Yahsat under its Direct-to-Device (D2D) strategy.

The collaboration includes exploring various initiatives and projects concerning Yahsat’s planned D2D ecosystem to enable voice, texting, and data satellite connectivity for standard smartphones. Through this partnership, e& UAE and Yahsat will work together on a range of innovative projects aimed at revolutionising satellite connectivity.

Ali Al Hashemi, Group CEO, Yahsat, said: “We are delighted to announce our MoU with e& UAE, a leading global telecom operator, as the first of many agreements we hope to reach with key industry players as part of our D2D strategyWe are discussing a whole host of areas where we aim to collaborate, which includes developing the ecosystem as part of our recently launched D2D strategy – Project SKY.”

 Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, CEO, e& UAE, said: “This partnership with Yahsat unlocks a new era of global connectivity. We're proud to be the first operator to join Yahsat's D2D vision and leverage our networks to bring seamless, anytime-anywhere connectivity to people everywhere. This is a significant step towards bridging the digital divide and realising our shared vision of a connected future.”

The partnership will see the two companies joining forces on Yahsat ‘s planned Low Earth Orbit (LEO) D2D system, which is designed to provide seamless connectivity (including voice, texting, and data) for standard smartphones. This technology will offer unprecedented levels of connectivity and accessibility for users around the world.

The collaboration is the latest step in the implementation of Yahsat’s D2D strategy that seeks to empower standard smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) devices with advanced satellite capabilities in an ecosystem of services and applications that can be accessed anywhere in the world.

Great Place to Work® certification exemplifies e&’s efforts to fostering a supportive and engaging workplace

e& has been named a Great Place to Work® by the Great Place to Work Institute in recognition of the company’s efforts to fostering a positive, supportive, and engaging work environment for its employees.

With a track record in pioneering next-generation innovations and driving positive changes for both employees and customers, e&'s Great Place to Work® certification stands as a natural progression in the Group’s journey as a global tech-co, solidifying its position as a destination for exceptional minds and a true champion of a thriving workplace culture.

Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, e&, said: “This recognition is a strong validation of  the importance of people  in e& and our continuous efforts to empower all our colleagues. Our exciting journey as a tech-co goes beyond embracing new technologies, it's about ensuring that every member of the e& family thrives. This certification signifies that we're on the right track, creating an environment where every employee feels valued, heard, and  equipped to contribute meaningfully to our shared success.”

Ali Al Mansoori, Acting Group Chief HR Officer, e&, said: “At e&, our people are the pillars of our success. This recognition shows our dedication to prioritising employee happiness, well-being, and growth. We aim to attract top talent by introducing innovative strategies. As we grow, we'll keep raising the bar with new initiatives, ensuring e& stays a Great Place to Work®.”

As part of its ongoing initiatives to empower its workforce, e& has established a world-class AI competency hub, integrating top-tier internal AI talent with global AI leaders. The company is also focused on accelerating professional growth through leadership development initiatives like the e& Group Organisational Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme, the Women Leadership Programme, and License to Lead. Simultaneously, e& continues to promote diversity and inclusion, exemplified by the increased representation of women, People of Determination (PoD), youth, and individuals from diverse nationalities within the organisation.

In terms of ensuring employee wellness, last year, e& piloted a four-day workweek for employees across three departments in the UAE, becoming the first technology company in the country to embrace the global call for workplace flexibility. It also introduced a progressive 3:2 hybrid work model and revamped remote work policies tailored to support new parents. Additionally, the implementation of 'Green Fridays' for remote work contributed to the reduction in the company's carbon footprint while also enhancing employee well-being by easing commuting stress and fostering a better work-life balance.

 

The certification is grounded in genuine feedback from employees surveyed through the Trust Index™, an assessment encompassing five key dimensions: credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. 

Notably, the survey revealed that a vast majority of e& employees proudly identify with the company, indicating a strong sense of belonging and loyalty. Additionally, they feel a surge of pride when reflecting on the company's achievements, highlighting a powerful shared sense of purpose and collective accomplishment. e&'s exceptional performance in these areas speaks volumes about their success in fostering a culture where employees feel safe, valued, and empowered.

Cricbuzz to launch Cricbuzz TV channels on eLife, SwitchTV and Starzplay 

In a landmark partnership set to amplify the reach of local and international cricket in the Middle East, evision, media and entertainment arm of e& and the largest content aggregator in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan region has joined forces with Cricbuzz, a leading global destination for cricket, to introduce CricbuzzTV, a set of 24/7 channels featuring the top global cricket competitions and events. This strategic collaboration will bring more live cricket action to fans throughout the year, directly on elife, SwitchTV and Starzplay.

Cricbuzz TV is all set to become a new destination of live cricket in the region alongside evision’s own CricLife channels, offering an unparalleled viewing experience with live coverage of major cricket events. In addition to the exclusive broadcasts of the top global cricket bilaterals and tournaments, the CricbuzzTV channels will feature exclusive and original programming produced by Cricbuzz, enriching the fan experience.

Highlighting the significance of this partnership, Olivier Bramly, CEO of evision, said: "Our collaboration with Cricbuzz marks a significant milestone in our mission to deliver exceptional sports entertainment to our audiences. evision has long been the home of cricket in the Middle East with our very own CricLife channels and now with Cricbuzz TV also available, eLife, SwitchTV and Starzplay will continue to be the preferred platforms for cricket in MENA region. After evision secures ICC Tournaments exclusively until 2027, we  now look forward to working with Cricbuzz to transform how cricket is watched, making it more accessible and engaging for fans across the region."

evision is the official broadcaster of the International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments and will host these events on its CricLife “MAX” channels through 2027.

Satyan Gajwani, Vice Chairman of Times Internet said: "We are thrilled to partner with evision to launch CricbuzzTV in the Middle East. Globally, Cricbuzz is synonymous with cricket, and we’re excited to bring a new dimension to the thrill of live cricket to the Middle East. We’re grateful to have evision as a partner, with deep roots, history, and capabilities in the region. Our goal isn’t just to deliver live cricket, but to build a trusted and compelling cricket experience to develop and enliven cricket enthusiasts in the Middle East."

The strategic collaboration between evision and Cricbuzz underscores both entities' dedication to enhancing the sports broadcasting landscape in the Middle East. CricbuzzTV is set to kick off its coverage with the Pakistan Super League, starting next week, which will be broadcast on CricbuzzTV.

STARZ ON is the first streaming platform in the MENA region to carry Red Bull TV channel

Thrill-seeking viewers can brace themselves for an adrenaline rush with evision, the media and entertainment powerhouse of e& life, as they bring the Red Bull TV channel to STARZ ON.

Olivier Bramly, Chief Executive Officer, evision by e& life, said: "We're thrilled to join forces with Red Bull, a brand known for pushing boundaries and exceeding expectations. Together, we're about to ignite a whole new level of entertainment for STARZ ON viewers across the region. This partnership with Red Bull is a game-changer for our MENA audience. We're bringing live events, inspiring stories and exhilarating moments to our consumer.”

Red Bull TV offers much more than just the spills and thrills of action sports. Viewers can look forward to diving into a diverse library of live events,  shows and documentaries exploring extreme sports, music, lifestyle and culture.  

From February 2024,  STARZ ON users can access the Red Bull TV FAST channel on STARZ ON for free. As the first streaming platform in the region to carry the Red Bull FAST TV channel, STARZ ON is offering the extreme sports content channel via its ad-supported streaming  platform.

  • Updated app offers rich features, enhanced customer journeys, and personalised experience for customers
  • Users can benefit from free international transfers and 1% cash rewards with the e& money card 

e& money, the fintech arm of e& life, introduced the new e& money app, now more advanced and seamless than ever. The financial super app has completely transformed, offering a fresh and customer centric look, with a personalised experience. Renewed app hosts innovative features that make managing your finances easier, faster, and smarter than ever before.

The redesigned e& money app is centered around simplifying everyday financial tasks with its user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation. Customers can now effortlessly manage their finances with just a few taps, whether it is sending funds locally or internationally, paying bills, or making card payments. They can also benefit from free international transfers and one per cent cash rewards with the e& money card. The app will also be available in Arabic shortly after its commercial release, catering to the needs of a wider audience, followed by other languages as well.

Khalifa Al Shamsi, CEO, e& life, said: “We are excited to announce the release of the renewed e& money app, underscoring our dedication to improving accessibility to financial services. This updated application streamlines various financial activities, including cross-border money transfers and prompt bill payments. By prioritising redesigned journeys, personalised features, and increased transparency, our aim is to elevate the daily experiences of our customers. Our ultimate goal is to offer customers simple solutions for their daily financial needs.”

In an exciting development, the new app is unveiling a range of cutting-edge features designed to deliver convenient and personalised experiences, ensuring each user enjoys unique and intuitive navigation for their financial needs.

e& money offers the fastest registration in the region and instant account setup without any fees.

International remittance have become even easier, eliminating unnecessary steps in the process while offering real-time tracking capabilities. Transfers can be in just three clicks. Additionally, customers can embrace hassle-free payments by overcoming the need for pre-funding accounts to complete their transactions.


Customers can add a personal touch to gifting with the option to add cards and messages, enriching with an extra layer of thoughtfulness. From a comprehensive list of billers to allowing users to manage all payments conveniently from one platform, the new app streamlines needs and makes it all simple.

These enhancements reflect e& money’s commitment to delivering the best user experience in the UAE and also paves the way to create a platform which will be enriched with several new products in 2024. All upcoming launches are driven from a customer-centric approach, keeping users’ needs and need of simplicity at the core of its innovation.

In 2023, e& money achieved significant growth and milestones. It witnessed a fourfold increase in transaction volume, and attained the highest monthly active users in the UAE's fintech sector. The platform offers a variety of financial services such as international and local transfers, e& money card, bill payments, gifting and more. 

  • haifin's consortium includes 13 banks and two fintech lenders
  • Processed over AED 200 billion in transaction value
  • haifin will now widen the scope of its success to regions across GCC, MENA and APAC

UAE Trade Connect (UTC), an e& enterprise company and the first commercialised blockchain platform transforming trade finance in the UAE, unveiled its new brand identity, “haifin”, as part of its commitment to extend its innovative solutions beyond the UAE, aiming for a significant presence in APAC, MENA, and GCC regions.

The new brand name, “haifin”, reflects the platform's evolution and carries an ambitious roadmap to expand globally with its fraud-detection solution and further use cases to resolve current market challenges. The rebranding is symbolic of its vision as a leading fintech to connect and protect financial institutions for a more resilient ecosystem.

Salvador Anglada, CEO of e& enterprise, said: “This strategic rebranding reflects e& enterprise's dedication to nurturing scalable cloud-based solutions that drive substantial market impact by supporting and advancing the global and regional fintech space, paving the way for more inclusive, efficient, and secure financial services.

Zul Javaid, CEO of haifin, said: “This rebranding reflects haifin’s mission to serve as the connective tissue in the financial industry. Incorporating AI, FIs and FinTech into its very name, haifin is set to replicate its UAE success in other countries within our region and beyond. The new branding reflects our aspirations to expand our cloud-native and blockchain-based Intellectual Property (IP) to design tailored solutions to support financial institutions into new territories.”

haifin’s solution can manage various types of trade-related documents, which are inspected, validated, and tested for authenticity in real time. Its proprietary technology ensures trust, transparency, and privacy between multiple organisations with a stack of leading-edge technologies deployed locally on e& enterprise’s E1Cloud platform. The robust system validates trade finance transactions, identifies duplication, and combats potential fraud in real time. These capabilities empower banks to make informed lending decisions, increase lending confidence and safeguard funds.

The haifin network has grown from seven banks in 2021 to 15 lending institutions comprising 13 major UAE banks and two fintechs, DP World Financial Services and Beehive. Banking members include Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Al Masraf, Commercial Bank International, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD PJSC, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Invest Bank, Mashreq Corporate & Investment Banking Group, National Bank of Fujairah, RAKBANK, and United Arab Bank, with several more in advanced discussions to join the consortium.

Since its commercial launch in 2021, the platform has inspected transactions worth more than AED 200 billion and identified potential frauds worth several millions of dirhams. The system handles over 4 million data points monthly, and its machine learning capability increases as the dataset grows each month.

February 2024

Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMaker GenAI applications to power e& UAE’s services to deliver personalised experiences

e& UAE  today announced a partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to deploy advanced generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) technologies. These technologies are set to create real-time personalised recommendations, offering customised news feeds, product recommendations, and exclusive promotional materials to enhance customer experiences.

In line with the partnership, e& UAE will use Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMaker to seamlessly integrate a suite of GenAI use cases, personalising recommendations beyond traditional algorithms. Amazon Bedrock is a fully managed service that offers a choice of high-performing foundation models (FMs) from leading AI companies via a single API, along with a broad set of capabilities needed to build GenAI applications with security, privacy, and responsible AI. Amazon SageMaker provides all the machine learning (ML) components in a single toolset. It helps users build, train, and deploy ML models for any use case with fully managed infrastructure, tools, and workflows, ensuring faster production.

The AI-driven innovation analyses intricate customer preferences to present tailor-made product suggestions, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction. Furthermore, it will empower customers to pioneer and experiment with GenAI, automating complex operations and providing customer-specific, contemporary solutions within applications.

"Our collaboration with AWS opens exciting possibilities, allowing us to deliver exceptionally unique experiences for our customers with intelligent, personalised recommendations,” said Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer, e& UAE. “By harnessing the power of GenAI, we are shaping the future of customer experience, offering distinctive and captivating services while pioneering novel use cases. This reinforces our position as a leader in the AI era and affirms our commitment to advancing the frontiers of innovation.”

With over 25 years of exceptional expertise in AI and ML technologies, AWS's stellar reputation makes them the ideal partner for e& UAE. AWS provides broad services to build and scale generative AI, such as infrastructure to run AI workloads, pre-trained AI models, and applications with built-in AI capabilities. This collaboration with AWS highlights e& UAE's commitment to staying focused on technological innovation, prioritising customer satisfaction, and pushing the boundaries of what's possible in intelligent customer services.

"At AWS, we are thrilled to help e& UAE harness Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMaker to revolutionise the telco digital landscape. Together, we can explore new pathways for customer interaction and service personalisation,” said Bernard Najm, Vice President, Telco MEA at AWS. “With e& UAE’s dedication to innovation and AWS’s comprehensive set of AI capabilities, we are venturing into an era where GenAI will create new opportunities to deliver enhanced customer experience and improved telecom operations."

e& UAE continues to lead the way in AI integration across its solutions and services. Last year, the telco launched the e& UAE Autonomous Store Experience (EASE), the world’s first autonomous telecom store powered by AI. The company also uses innovations such as AI Voice Authentication, which ensures privacy and security via voice print authentication for e& UAE’s call centres. It also employs an AI-driven recommendation engine for hyper-personalised services on its apps, Smiles and myetisalat, identifying preferred channels, products, and offers based on user behaviour. These innovations highlight e& UAE's commitment to advancing customer experience through cutting-edge AI.

e& and Huawei signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during MWC 2024 to collaborate on building green and energy-efficient networks in the UAE to significantly reduce carbon emissions and contribute to sustainable environmental practices. 

e& will continue to work with Huawei to achieve network decarbonisation across its ICT infrastructure, including radio, core and transport networks, and data centers. The effort to decarbonise the network will adopt a mix of Huawei’s energy-efficient technology innovations and intelligent software features, as well as maximising the use of renewable energy. The companies will also collaborate in hosting a series of knowledge-sharing sessions to exchange insights on climate change and the latest technological advancements and adapt and align network strategies accordingly.

In a pioneering move, e& launched its region’s first net-zero 5G Massive MIMO site using Huawei technology during COP 28 in December 2023, showcasing a tangible commitment to eco-friendly technology deployment.

The partnership is part of e&’s ambition to accelerate the transition to net-zero and underlines the importance of improving network energy performance to meet Net Zero targets.

Sabri Albreiki, Chief Technology Officer of e& International, remarked, "Through our strategic partnership with Huawei, we aim to accelerate the decarbonisation of our ICT infrastructure by deploying their energy-efficient network equipment combined with energy-saving software features, advanced machine learning capabilities, and renewable energy sources. Signing this MoU with Huawei reinforces our joint commitment to a greener, more sustainable future."

Echoing this sentiment, Gavin Wang, President of Huawei e& Global Key Account, stated, " The combined efforts of e& and Huawei exemplify a strong commitment to climate change and sustainable technology. Through our joint initiatives and efforts, we aim to revolutionise the landscape of telecommunications and set new benchmarks for green development."

With an eye on the future, both e& and Huawei reaffirm their unwavering pursuit of green development, with ongoing investments and explorations in sustainable projects that align with e&'s 2030 net-zero ambition.

  • AI-powered Microsoft Azure Operator Nexus empowers e& UAE to maximize network investments by reducing TCO and enhancing operational efficiency.
  • NEC is the lead systems integrator for the deployment, drawing on its vast experience in building and supporting carrier networks like e& UAE

e& UAE, the telco arm of global technology powerhouse e& group, today announced that it has become the first company outside North America to deploy and reap the benefits of the Microsoft Azure Operator Nexus and Azure Operator 5G Core solutions. The AI-powered solution will enable e& UAE to streamline network service setup, automate operations, and enhance security, ultimately aiming to achieve fully automated, zero-touch network operations.

The implementation cements the strong partnership between Microsoft and e& UAE, established in 2022, marking a major step forward in their shared vision for network transformation. As a Microsoft partner, NEC is the prime systems integrator for the implementation, bringing their wealth of experience in building and supporting large-scale carrier networks like e& UAE.

Azure Operator Nexus is a next-generation, carrier-grade, hybrid cloud platform built to empower telecom operators to modernise and transform their networks. It uses AI to enable operators to use cloud technology to maximise their network investments by lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) and driving operational efficiency and resiliency. With advanced AI and automation capabilities, it also improves the security of highly distributed, software-based networks. The solution seamlessly integrates with the Azure AIOps portfolio, including the Azure Operator Service Manager, a modern cloud service that simplifies network function by providing clear service configuration and ensuring safe deployment practices. 

The Azure Operator Nexus platform supports certified network functions from multiple vendors as part of the Azure Operator Nexus Ready program.

"We are thrilled to be the first customer to deploy Microsoft’s Azure Operator Nexus and Azure Operator 5G Core solutions," said Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer at e& UAE. "This partnership with Microsoft will enable us to deliver the best possible experience to our customers, and we are excited to see the benefits these technologies will bring. By embracing AI-powered innovation and partnering with Microsoft, e& UAE is leading in network transformation in our region."

The deployment of Azure Operator Nexus and Azure Operator 5G Core solutions will also bring a range of benefits to e&'s business operations in the UAE. The cloud-based platform will enable the telco to rapidly scale its network services. At the same time, the Azure Operator 5G Core solution will provide the foundation for delivering new and innovative services to its customers. Industry use cases will be enabled with 5G network slicing, taking advantage of operational efficiencies with infrastructure and application orchestration while paving the way for future innovation.

"e&'s deployment of Microsoft Azure Operator Nexus and Azure Operator 5G Core solutions are testament to the power of our technology," said Dr. Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Azure for Operators, Microsoft. "Microsoft continues to be uniquely positioned to support telco network transformation and to pave the way for operators to use the power of AI and hybrid cloud. Our generative AI models have already been securely deployed in many use cases and applications across Microsoft, including streamlining the management of our core infrastructure, and this is just the start. We are proud to work with e& UAE to deliver the best possible connectivity and services to its customers."

e& and Dell Technologies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support and strengthen e&’s mobile networks transformation to open technologies using Dell’s Open Telecom Ecosystem Lab (OTEL).

The memorandum was signed by Sabri Albreiki, Chief Technology Officer, e& international and Dennis Hoffman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Telecom Systems Business, Dell Technologies.

The agreement allows e& to explore new avenues to enhance its technological capabilities and utilise the Dell OTEL environment to create, validate and drive innovations that will power the future of the telecommunications sector. Launched in 2022, OTEL is Dell’s state‑of‑the‑art facility dedicated to developing, testing and improving telecommunications solutions through open‑source technology and vendor‑neutral collaboration.

Sabri Albreiki, Chief Technology Officer, e& international said: “The future of telecommunications hinges on an open ecosystem that promises improved flexibility, scalability, better prices, and, more importantly, the ability to remain in a constant state of innovation. Working with Dell’s Open Telecom Ecosystem Lab allows us to build, integrate, validate and continuously improve end‑to‑end telecom solutions for the 5G world and beyond. The MOU further supports our vision to explore new solutions to strengthen our market offerings and pursue industry excellence. Together with Dell, we look forward to ushering in an era of unprecedented possibilities and moving the industry forward.”

Dennis Hoffman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Telecom Systems Business, Dell Technologies, said: “Dell is committed to helping the telecom sector solve the challenges of the future. Nowhere is that mission clearer than in the Dell Open Telecom Ecosystem Lab, which acts as a catalyst for accelerating and simplifying the creation of an open and modern telecom ecosystem. The agreement allows e& to bring competitive solutions to market sooner while supporting open standards. We are pleased to extend this platform to the e& Group and look forward to paving the way for innovation and growth in today’s dynamic telecommunications landscape.”

OTEL was created to help solve the network challenges of today and tomorrow. By working with Dell Technologies as an OTEL partner, communications service providers (CSPs) benefit from a secure, state‑of‑the‑art lab environment that allows for a more comprehensive, seamless testing and faster time to market without scaling up costs.

e& reports record consolidated net profit of AED 10.3 billion growing 3% year-over-year

  • Consolidated revenues reached AED 53.8 billion, a growth of 8.3 per cent year-over-year, at constant exchange rates
  • Board proposes a total dividend of AED 0.80 per share for FY 2023
  • Recommends a new progressive dividend policy to bring the DPS to 89 fils by FY2026

Abu Dhabi: e& today announced its consolidated financial results for fiscal year 2023 reporting a record consolidated net profit of AED 10.3 billion, a growth of 3 per cent year-over-year.

Underlining the Group’s commitment to value creation for its shareholders, e&’s Board of Directors proposes a dividend of AED 0.40 per share for the second half of 2023 representing a total dividend of AED 0.80 per share for FY2023. In addition, the board recommended a new progressive dividend policy with an increment of 3 fils every year starting from year 2024, bringing the DPS to 89 fils by FY2026. This proposal is subject to shareholders’ approval at the Annual General Meeting.

Financial highlights for FY 2023

 

2023

2022

Per cent change

Revenue

AED 53.8 billion

AED 52.4 billion

8.3%*

Net Profit

AED 10.3 billion

AED 10.0 billion

3%

Earnings per Share

AED 1.18

AED 1.15

3%

Aggregate Group Subscribers

169m

163m

4%

(*) At constant exchange rates, revenue increased by 8.3 per cent and EBITDA increased by 3.7 per cent year-over-year.

Consolidated revenues reached AED 53.8 billion, a growth of 8.3 per cent year-over-year, at constant exchange rates, underpinned by the Group’s successful business transformation, expanding the business verticals and diversifying the revenue streams.

Moreover, consolidated EBITDA increased by 3.7 per cent year-over-year at constant exchange rates, to AED 26.1 billion, leading to an EBITDA margin of 49 per cent, highlighting the strong profitability of e&’s operations.

Reporting strong growth in subscriber base, e& UAE recorded more than 14 million subscribers an increase of 3 per cent compared to the previous year, and the Group’s aggregate subscribers reached 169 million, an increase of 4 per cent over 2022.

Underlining the Group’s commitment to value creation for its shareholders, e&’s Board of Directors proposes a dividend of AED 0.40 per share for the second half (July to December) of 2023 representing a total dividend of AED 0.80 per share for FY 2023.

Chairman of e&, H.E. Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi, said: “In 2023, e& grew from strength to strength. We led technology-driven innovations, navigated challenging global market conditions, and emerged stronger, further solidifying our position as a leading global technology player. Our robust financial performance with a record net profit of AED 10.3 billion, and strong top-line growth of 3 per cent is a testament to our resilience and setting e& on the right path for future growth.”

“We continue to be inspired by UAE leadership; their determination to push boundaries sets a remarkable example of what is possible when a clear vision aligns with excellence in execution. Similarly, our commitment to making e& an embodiment of innovation, progress, and growth remains unwavering. Our vision is grounded in the dual objectives of delivering sustainable business growth and pioneering digital transformation technologies. From cementing our diversified business pillars to introducing new, impactful products and services, we are committed to empowering our 169 million subscribers across our operations,” H.E. Alzaabi added.

Hatem Dowidar, Group Chief Executive Officer of e&, said: “The strong financial performance achieved by e& in 2023, with consolidated revenues reaching AED 53.8 billion, a growth of 8.3 per cent year-over-year, at constant exchange rates, is a strong testament to the success of our business transformation strategy.

“e& continued to thrive as a leader in MEA, remaining one of the world’s most valuable and strongest brands and becoming the fastest-growing technology brand in the region. This highlighted our evolution into a global technology group supported by the strong performance of our brand portfolio. We will continue to push our boundaries to be at the forefront of the digital era by developing next-generation digital connectivity and cutting-edge solutions.”

Dowidar added: “I want to express my appreciation to our talented teams for their efforts and innovative spirit, which remain the driving force behind our success. We also extend our gratitude to our loyal customers and shareholders for their continued trust in our vision. Moving forward, I am confident that our commitment to connecting people, businesses, and communities through technology will continue to drive sustained future growth.”

Key Operational Highlights

In 2023, e& capitalised on every opportunity to address the customers current and future needs, delivering next-generation solutions that enable the successful digital transformation of industries and bring ease and simplicity to people’s lives.

e& has flourished as the crown jewel of Middle Eastern and African (MEA) brands. The 2024 Brand Finance Global 500 Report, confirms e&’s transformation as MEA's Fastest Growing Technology Brand. The annual report on the world’s most valuable and strongest brands highlighted e&'s evolution into a global technology powerhouse that saw its TMT brand portfolio skyrocket to US$17 billion in 2024 cementing it as the most valuable TMT brand portfolio in MEA, marking the Group’s stunning transition from telco to tech-co.

e&'s diverse portfolio and expanding reach, driven by its core telecoms business, e& UAE, and e& international and the specialised business pillars of e& life, e& enterprise, and e& capital, underscore its commitment to innovation and sustainability. e&'s dedication to next-generation technologies, including AI-driven innovation, cloud services, cybersecurity, and IoT, positions it at the forefront of the digital era.

e&

e& subsidiary, PTCL, acquired a 100 per cent stake in Telenor Pakistan, creating innovation and market expansion synergies. (Completion of the transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals and certain closing conditions.) e& also signed a binding agreement to acquire PPF Telecom assets in Europe. In addition to becoming the largest shareholder in Vodafone, e&’s strategic agreements included acquiring a majority stake in Careem's Super App and completing the ServiceMarket acquisition. e& is also the Most Valuable Brand Portfolio in the MEA region, worth over $17 billion, according to the 2024 Brand Finance Global 500 Report released earlier this year.

In line with its sustainability goals, e& committed to net zero Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions across its operations by 2040. e& launched Project Life, its sustainable procurements programme, with the goal of reducing Scope 3 emissions by 25 per cent by 2030. In addition, e&’s green initiatives include the Innovation Hub for Power Solutions and eco-friendly Green SIM Cards.

e& achieved a new 5G milestone at GITEX Global 2023 with a download speed exceeding 13Gbps, introduced the world’s first AI-empowered autonomous telecom store 'EASE,' and launched the Electric Vehicle (EV) charging service 'Charge&Go.' Collaborations with Ericsson, Earthlink, Intel, and global alliances in AI for telecoms showcase e&'s commitment to technological advancements.

On the global front, e& joined forces with SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, and Singtel to launch a global alliance in AI for telecoms. This alliance will pave the way for innovations and co-development of the Telco AI platform. A partnership with Indosat promises to improve voice communication between Indonesia and the UAE by providing high-quality IDD services.

The Group continued reaffirming its commitment to gender diversity through collaborations with Nokia and UN Women with the 'Women in Leadership' programme to increase the number of women in decision-making roles within the tech sector.

e&'s achievements were celebrated at the Carrier Community Global Awards 2023 by being named 'Middle East Operator of the Year' for the third consecutive year. Its network technology prowess was also recognised with the World Teleports Association's Tier 4 certification for its Tawi al Saman and Jebel Ali teleports.

For its excellence in governance and best practice, the Group's legal and compliance team won 'Middle East In-House Legal Team of the Year' and 'Technology, Media and Telecommunications In-House Legal Team of the Year' at the Thomson Reuters ALB Middle East Law Awards 2023.

e&’s Investor Relations (IR) team won first place for ‘Best IR Reporting Digital Category Large-Cap Middle East’ at the 2023 Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) Awards. This prestigious accolade recognises e&'s outstanding dedication to enhancing transparency, accessibility, and innovation in its investor communication.

e& UAE

e&’s telecom brand in the UAE emerged as the strongest telecoms brand in the world, with a AAA rating.

Technological milestones include completing the world's first 1.6Tbps per wavelength trial on Optical Transport Network, the commercial deployment of 5G Standalone (SA) for mobile users, and the successful 5G SA service launch for Fixed Wireless Users (FWA), enabling seamless voice and data services across UAE.

At COP28, e& UAE was the first to deploy the first net-zero 5G Massive MIMO site in the MENA region, integrated a zero-footprint RAN site within its network, and contributed to UAE's Net Zero by 2050 initiative. Cybersecurity efforts included an alliance with the UAE Cyber Security Council and the graduation of the first cohort from the Cyber Sniper Programme.

As an innovator, e& UAE also opened a Mobile Security Operation Centre, deployed Microsoft Azure Multi-Access Edge Compute solution and received TM Forum Silver certification for Open API compliance, the first in the MENA region. Noteworthy achievements include successful trials of high-capacity transmission networks, 5G milestones, and implementing the first 5G SatComs in the region.

The company was recognised as 'Employer of the Year' at the GCC HR Awards 2023 and continuously exceeded its Emiratisation target, with over 53 per cent Emiratisation rate. Digital product and service diversification led to the growth of the 'Smiles' online marketplace, reaching more than 3.5 million, and 'GoChat' super app, achieving more than 7.5 million downloads.

e& UAE also introduced 'uTap', a payment solution for SMBs and launched tailored solutions for start-ups and enterprises including Wi-Fi as a service to improve business connectivity and continued with its innovative platform, 'Hello Business Pitch’, to support the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE. In alignment with the UAE leadership's vision of tolerance and coexistence, the company participated in 'Together in Emirates of Zayed'. It introduced the 'Five' app exclusively for blue-collar workers using the 'Five' SIM.

Keeping up its network leadership, e& UAE was ranked no. 1 globally in 5G mobile download speeds (December 2023) by Ookla.

e& international

e& international, in collaboration with Circles, launched the digital brand 'Onic' in Pakistan, enhancing digital experiences for Mobile Network Operators’ (MNOs) digital-native customers. e& international launched the 'e& Partner Networks' programme to support global telecom operators like Tunisie Telecom, Sudatel, Perfectum Mobile, and Azercell Telecom across five countries (Tunisia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Senegal).

Strategic partnerships, including Vodafone Business, resulted in the acquisition of a major customer and plans to collaborate on software-driven networks for multinational enterprises. etisalat by e& Egypt partnered with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt to launch 'Erada Microfinance,' expanding financial services for micro and small enterprises. It also deployed a Smart Connected Site to reduce fuel costs and CO2 emissions by up to 40 per cent, as well as decrease reliance on fossil fuels.

PTCL and Vodafone initiated a strategic collaboration to develop end-to-end IoT services, accelerating enterprise digital enablement in Pakistan. e& international, through its joint venture with Circles, launched digital sub-brands, elevating the digital experiences of MNOs' customers.

e& international also established the AI Centre of Excellence (AICoE) for advanced analytics, leveraging machine learning and AI solutions to offer personalised use cases to global clients in telecoms and other industries. The company maintained its leadership in customer experience, securing the number one net promoter score (NPS) position in key markets.

e& life

e& life reached new heights in 2023, redefining media, entertainment, and digital financial services. evision with STARZPLAY continued pioneering MENA entertainment, acquiring exclusive sports rights for major cricketing broadcasts, launching the 24/7 GolfLife channel, and securing exclusive MENA broadcasting rights for popular documentaries. evision also unveiled its own OTT free-to-watch streaming platform, STARZ ON, to bring regional, Hollywood, Bollywood, English, Arabic, and French content in addition to sports all for free. OTT platforms were introduced in Pakistan, and a strategic agreement with WATCH IT expanded STARZPLAY in e& operating countries.

e& life, a fintech leader, pledged sustainability with the MENA Fintech Association, joining META, Mastercard, and Visa. The alliance commits to sustainability integration, audits, awareness, collaboration on initiatives, and promoting sustainable fintech products. e& money partnered with Mastercard to launch this digital-first prepaid card, marking it as the first telco-backed issuance in the UAE. The card offers the most rewarding prepaid card loyalty programme in the UAE, providing customers with a one percent cash reward on all card spends. Additionally, there has been a significant growth in remittance transactions compared to last year.

e& enterprise

 In 2023, e& enterprise confirmed its role to drive the digital transformation landscape in the region with milestones like the revamp of the e& enterprise Innovation Centre, the launch of the AI as a service proposition, collaborations with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and partnerships with Maxbyte, Al Masraf, Tap Payments, Snowflake and Informatica strengthening its position in Industry 4.0, manufacturing, data and digital payments.

e& enterprise also played a pivotal role in in advancing sustainability initiatives by launching its ‘sustainability as service’ proposition in partnership with Microsoft and strengthen further by a partnership with World Wide Generation (WWG) to launch a global sustainability exchange platform integrating sustainability data, solutions, and finances. e& enterprise also launched the Sustainability Consultancy Programme offering qualifying organisations a free consultancy and GHG assessment to promote and foster sustainable business practice in the region.

e& enterprise was also recognised as a major player in the IDC Worldwide CPaaS Marketscape Vendor Assessment for its customer experience proposition engageX which has also expanded its footprint to serve clients in Saudi Arabia.

A JV with Be spin Global was also completed solidifying e& enterprise's leadership position in the regional cloud migration domain Bespin Global was also recognised as a Visionary in the Public Cloud IT Transformation Services.

Acquiring a majority stake in Beehive, e& enterprise entered the SME lending market while UAE Trade Connect (UTC) consortium continues to grow with the addition of non-banking members such as DP World reaching a total of 15 members.

Through Help AG, the cybersecurity arm of e& enterprise, which was recognised as an MSS leader in IDC GCC Marketscape assessment, the company launched UNIFY SaaS platform, expanded to Egypt, and established the biggest cyber defence centre in the region.

e& capital

e& capital continued to drive innovation and investments in promising startups, enabling cutting-edge technologies. At the forefront of technology innovation, it participated in the $25 million Series A funding round for Ikigai Labs, a startup committed to bringing generative AI to tabular data.

e& capital also led a Series A funding round for Maxbyte, driving the industry 4.0 revolution in the MENA region. Additionally, e& capital led a Series B funding round for Airalo, the global eSIM marketplace enabling travellers with seamless connectivity.

In 2023, e& achieved significant milestones, marking its successful evolution into a global technology company and maintaining its status as one of the world’s most valuable and strongest brands. The Group’s commitment to excellence, innovation, sustainability and robust financial performance exemplifies its leadership in the fast-changing digital landscape and reflects its mission to shape a promising future.

e& Carrier & Wholesale introduced Smart Connect Service - Bandwidth on Demand (BoD), allowing operators to scale their connectivity requirements on the go.

Nabil Baccouche, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer, e&, said: “The launch of this service marks an important leap toward empowering our customers with the online self-service tools to enable their digital ambitions. By putting control in their hands, we facilitate our partners with unparalleled agility and flexibility to harness the bandwidth needed to boost their operations, accelerating the adoption of emerging technologies. This demonstrates e&'s commitment to driving innovation and digital transformation throughout the region.”

Traditional network solutions often struggle to meet the urgent and fluctuating bandwidth demands of today’s businesses. With the rapid adoption of cloud-based applications, remote work models, and online services, organisations require connectivity that adapts to their dynamic needs. e&'s Smart Connect service - Bandwidth on Demand (BoD) addresses this critical gap by offering unmatched flexibility and control over bandwidth provisioning.

Smart Connect - BoD offers Self-service portal for Layer 1 & Layer 2 international connectivity of up to 100G with just a few clicks with automatic provisioning. It provides customers with Pay-per-use model with the option of elasticity, scalability, and scheduling for an enhanced customer experience.

This service is MEF-compliant, guaranteeing smooth connectivity and adherence to industry standards for maximum network stability and efficiency. It is targeted towards the development of NaaS platform, a market which is expected to reach US$7 billion by 2029, indicating explosive growth with an increased adoption of flexible network solutions.

e&, Telecom Egypt, Telin and a major Indian operator have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a consortium with the aim to develop the ICE IV Project. This new Data Center (DC) to DC system shall seamlessly connect the Intra Asia region to India and the Middle East on a unique route that demonstrates the true spirit of collaboration between these regions.

Spanning approximately 11,000km, this new system plans to deploy the latest open cable technologies and subsea ROADMs to interconnect Indonesia and Singapore to India, Oman, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. The ICE IV Project will adopt an entirely new route through the Sunda Strait and become the first international cable to land in Kochi, India in decades; offering an alternate resilient route and new international gateway. Terrestrial extensions are being considered also include links between the Middle East and Egypt and between Kochi and Chennai, together making this ICE IV Project unique. The target ready for service date is Q4, 2027.

In recent years, the surge in demand, coupled with inventory scarcity has moved the global bandwidth market to thrive and become the main driver for the construction of new subsea cable systems. As subsea connectivity evolves, the PoP to PoP design sets the new standard, where this architecture serves the requirements of content providers and large data consumers much better. The ICE IV Project shall adopt these principles providing seamless connectivity, extraordinary bandwidth, and network security through diversity.

This very significant milestone for the project took place during the prestigious Capacity Middle East event where the MOU was signed by top officials from the four market leading companies; Nabil Baccouche - Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer at e&, Seif Mounib Vice President of International and Wholesale at Telecom Egypt, Budi Satria Dharma Purba, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Telin, and the Indian operator. The signing event demonstrates all parties’ commitment to invest and grow the global bandwidth market to better serve their customers.

Nabil Baccouche, Group Chief Carrier and Wholesale Officer at e&, said:

“With ICE IV Project, we're redefining the connectivity map, bringing continents closer than ever before, and unlocking bandwidth access for billions of people. With our commitment to making SmartHub a location of choice as one of the largest neutral carrier hub, the ICE IV Project will further accelerate connectivity. The new DC to DC system will enable us to increase capabilities and global capacity further to meet the evolving requirements of customers across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Americas.”.”

Mohamed Nasr, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Telecom Egypt, commented:

 “Since the start of subsea fiber optic evolutions more than 30 years ago, Telecom Egypt has been instrumental in enabling and supporting the formation of subsea projects, particularly those connecting Southeast Asia to Europe. This particular route is considered the core infrastructure connecting the largest continents, and one of the major and continuously expanding subsea routes. Telecom Egypt is honored to collaborate with ICE partners on the construction of this remarkable project. Being a founding member of ‘ICE IV’ is a testament of our profound belief of the importance of this critical infrastructure. We are providing open-access to more than 20 subsea cables landing in Egypt with unique, diverse landing and state-of-the-art transit international infrastructure that will be part of the planned design. Furthermore, ICE IV Project will enable us to extend our footprint and further diversify our subsea infrastructure portfolio to promptly address the ever-growing demand for global connectivity.”

Budi Satria Dharma Purba, CEO at Telin, stated:

“Customer nowadays demand the utmost best user experience, pushing providers to innovate and build low latency network on diverse and unique routes. This compels Telin to envision Indonesia as the future hub in this Indo-Pacific region. We can create new opportunities for all ICE cable systems by integrating it with relevant countries and systems. Indonesian Cable Express will be the bridge. The Telin ICE initiative ensures an efficient cost structure and faster deployment. The ICE program involves 7 separate cable systems connecting Indonesia to all potential markets. During the next 5 years, the system deployment will start, each adhering to 4 fundamental principles: DC to DC Access, Ultra Low Latency, Different Landings and Unique Routes.”

Vodafone and e& have joined forces to provide other operators with comprehensive, fully managed voice solutions to support their international voice traffic requirements and growth plans, as well as help meet the growing demand for voice over 4G/5G (VoLTE) services.

According to industry body the GSMA, VoLTE adoption is forecast to increase to over 70% of global mobile connections by 2030. This trend is fuelled by operators switching off legacy networks in favour of 5G and the need to provide end users with consistently reliable trans-border managed voice services.

By harnessing their collective technical expertise, partnerships and complementary geographical footprint, Vodafone and e& will provide operators with a robust, scalable, and consistent managed voice service worldwide. Operators sourcing combined services from Vodafone and e& can be assured of predictable costs (no matter the region), optimised inbound revenues, streamlined regulatory compliance, enhanced fraud protection, and seamless integration of innovative services through a leading cloud-based architecture.

Ninian Wilson, CEO of Vodafone Procurement and Connectivity, said: “Managing cross-border voice is increasingly complex due to new regulations, providing protection against international scams, and the need to migrate to 5G services.  Operators are seeking trusted partners to navigate these changes, while growing their businesses. Vodafone’s strategic partnership with e& offers them a single point of contact and a dependable service globally during this transition to support them in managing changing business complexities.”

Nabil Baccouche, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer, e&, said: “This collaboration between Vodafone and e& sets a new industry benchmark, extending beyond predictable cost and improved security. It focuses on empowering operators to confidently adapt to the evolving voice landscape.

“By leveraging our established capabilities, state of the art platforms, and extensive industry knowledge, we provide operators with a definite way to achieve operational excellence. Working together, e& and Vodafone grant operators’ easy access to our combined skills and worldwide presence, enabling them to provide cutting-edge voice services, thereby seamlessly transforming their businesses for the future.”

This collaboration also offers operators enhanced fraud protection based on industry-leading processes and the latest advanced Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) functionalities. As active members of the Global Leaders Forum (GLF), both companies play a pivotal role in shaping the industry’s fraud mitigation strategies, leveraging their extensive expertise.

Today’s announcement builds on an agreement Vodafone and e& unveiled in October last year detailing how the two companies will jointly market, sell and service businesses and public sector organisations in support of their digital transformations. 

SmartHub to become a new international gateway and transit zone for carriers and hyperscalers

e& Carrier & Wholesale announced the expansion of its Tier III SmartHub data centre  to the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi, providing state-of-the-art infrastructure and connectivity to support the entire region’s digital ecosystem.

The strategic expansion further solidifies e&'s global network enhancing its ability to serve businesses across various industry verticals. The upcoming data centre in Abu Dhabi  will be the fifth th Tier III data centre alongside the existing ones in Fujairah 1 and 2, Dubai, and Kalba.

With the new SmartHub location in Abu Dhabi it accelerates digital adoption in the country offering geo-redundancy and added value for customers with low latency and high-speed internet.

Nabil Baccouche, e& Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer commenting on the launch, said: “Our footprint expansion is aligned with e&’s long term vision of creating a digitally empowered world through innovation and digitisation. With the United Arab Emirates today playing a key role in the global economy, we are committed to delivering world-class connectivity solutions, facilitating global trade and investment. The hi-tech infrastructure and strategic location of Abu Dhabi will be a valuable asset to our customers and the wider business community.”

The new Abu Dhabi facility is Uptime Institute Tier III Certified, complying with the highest industry standards of data centre performance and availability with an ESTIDAMA Pearl rating of 4 for sustainable design, construction, and operation, as well as a USGBC LEED Gold certification, adhering to strict environmental standards.

e& enterprise has announced that it is the official Host Partner for the upcoming International Data Corporation (IDC) Middle East CIO Summit 2024.

Taking place in Dubai on February 21-22 under the theme 'The Future of IT: Rethinking Digitalisation for an AI Everywhere World', the 17th annual edition of this highly anticipated event will underscore the imperative role of digitalisation and AI in setting the stage for previously unimaginable improvements in efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

Miguel A. Villalonga, COO of e& enterprise, said: “I am delighted to announce our role as Host Partner for the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2024 in Dubai, a testament to our commitment to driving the digital transformation landscape in the region. This event underscores our dedication to shaping the future of IT, where artificial intelligence will undoubtedly play a pivotal role. It's an honour to lead and contribute to discussions that will define the technological landscape of tomorrow.”

“We are thrilled to welcome e& enterprise on board as our Host Partner for this year's edition of the IDC Middle East CIO Summit,” said Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. “e& enterprise has expanded its portfolio in the highly competitive digital transformation space and is currently playing a major role in accelerating the region's digital journey and facilitating the shift toward AI. The CIO Summit has been the platform of choice for industry leaders across the Middle East for the past 17 years, and together with e& enterprise and our other partners, we aim to empower the ICT ecosystem to develop their capabilities and thrive in the ever-evolving digital era.”

"Generative AI will be a main discussion point on the agenda as the technology unleashes a new wave of disruption across industries. In addition to AI, expert speakers will showcase proven best-practice strategies around a myriad of critical technologies that are shaping transformation. The event will explore the evolving role of IT leaders in today's increasingly AI-infused landscape, offering expert guidance on navigating challenges, adapting to shifting business environments, and crafting innovative solutions."

The IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2024 will host the region's most influential tech leaders, experts, and visionaries, promising a truly immersive experience. Discussions will cover the pulsating heart of the modern ICT landscape, with dedicated sessions exploring topics such as digital infrastructure, DevOps strategies, predictive analytics, enterprise IT transformation, low-code/no-code platforms, omni-experience transformation, cybersecurity policies, regulations, and compliance, technology buyer trends, application modernisation strategies, AI and the tech revolution, effective hybrid cloud deployment, sustainability, digital resilience, and tech architectures for success.

evision powers a new experience with TV channels plus Video on Demand content, becoming the home of Hotstar Specials in the MENA region

Viewers across MENA can look forward to a wave of high-quality entertainment as evision, the UAE's leading media and entertainment streaming service, and Disney Star, India's leading media and entertainment company, announced today a strategic partnership. This partnership redefines the entertainment landscape in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), offering viewers access to unparalleled content library while making evision the most comprehensive destination for the region’s entertainment needs.

This partnership unlocks a diverse world of content, starting with an extensive channel portfolio from Disney Star. Popular linear channels such as Star Plus HD, Asianet Middle East, Star Gold and Star Vijay will be accessible to UAE subscribers on elife and Switch TV. Subsequently, these channels will also be available on evision’s OTT streaming platform, STARZ ON, across the GCC region. Disney Star’s linear channels will be available on Asiana packages in the UAE and MENA region.

In addition, this collaboration will also provide viewers with access to the most popular on- demand content, including the latest premium originals and an extensive library from the Hotstar Specials catalogue specifically tailored for South Asian audiences in the MENA region.

This collaboration transcends mere content expansion; it ushers in a revolutionary entertainment destination destined to captivate audiences across the region with licensing rights for Advertising-based Video on Demand (AVOD) and Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television (FAST) channels offered throughout MENA.

Olivier Bramly, CEO, evision, said: “The strategic alliance with Disney Star expands our premium content and enhances the entertainment destination for audiences across MENA. This collaboration reaffirms our commitment to delivering the best in TV entertainment. evision enables the audiences across multiple platforms and services to experience the best of South Asian entertainment and Sports.”

“We are thrilled to further extend the reach of our compelling and multi-lingual content portfolio in the MENA region through an enhanced collaboration with evision. The MENA region has shown great interest in our series and format shows, broadcasted on our leading TV channels across languages. In addition to our much-loved channel offerings, we are excited to introduce our most sought-after Hotstar Specials to viewers in the region. This collaboration with evision reflects our ongoing commitment to engaging with our audience and represents a significant stride in that direction,” said Gurjeev Singh Kapoor, Head – Distribution & International, India, Disney Star.

With this landmark partnership, evision and Disney Star mark a new era in MENA's entertainment landscape. Viewers can look forward to a universe of stories, all from the comfort of wherever they prefer to relax and enjoy content.

This strategic collaboration signifies a defining moment in evision's journey, solidifying its position as a pioneer in delivering world-class entertainment to MENA. Together, we embark on a thrilling narrative, one that promises to enthrall audiences and rewrite the entertainment landscape.

January 2024

evision powers a new experience with TV channels plus Video on Demand content, becoming the home of Hotstar Specials in the MENA region

Viewers across MENA can look forward to a wave of high-quality entertainment as evision, the UAE's leading media and entertainment streaming service, and Disney Star, India's leading media and entertainment company, announced today a strategic partnership. This partnership redefines the entertainment landscape in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), offering viewers access to unparalleled content library while making evision the most comprehensive destination for the region’s entertainment needs.

This partnership unlocks a diverse world of content, starting with an extensive channel portfolio from Disney Star. Popular linear channels such as Star Plus HD, Asianet Middle East, Star Gold and Star Vijay will be accessible to UAE subscribers on elife and Switch TV. Subsequently, these channels will also be available on evision’s OTT streaming platform, STARZ ON, across the GCC region. Disney Star’s linear channels will be available on Asiana packages in the UAE and MENA region.

In addition, this collaboration will also provide viewers with access to the most popular on- demand content, including the latest premium originals and an extensive library from the Hotstar Specials catalogue specifically tailored for South Asian audiences in the MENA region.

This collaboration transcends mere content expansion; it ushers in a revolutionary entertainment destination destined to captivate audiences across the region with licensing rights for Advertising-based Video on Demand (AVOD) and Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television (FAST) channels offered throughout MENA.

Olivier Bramly, CEO, evision, said: “The strategic alliance with Disney Star expands our premium content and enhances the entertainment destination for audiences across MENA. This collaboration reaffirms our commitment to delivering the best in TV entertainment. evision enables the audiences across multiple platforms and services to experience the best of South Asian entertainment and Sports.”

“We are thrilled to further extend the reach of our compelling and multi-lingual content portfolio in the MENA region through an enhanced collaboration with evision. The MENA region has shown great interest in our series and format shows, broadcasted on our leading TV channels across languages. In addition to our much-loved channel offerings, we are excited to introduce our most sought-after Hotstar Specials to viewers in the region. This collaboration with evision reflects our ongoing commitment to engaging with our audience and represents a significant stride in that direction,” said Gurjeev Singh Kapoor, Head – Distribution & International, India, Disney Star.

With this landmark partnership, evision and Disney Star mark a new era in MENA's entertainment landscape. Viewers can look forward to a universe of stories, all from the comfort of wherever they prefer to relax and enjoy content.

This strategic collaboration signifies a defining moment in evision's journey, solidifying its position as a pioneer in delivering world-class entertainment to MENA. Together, we embark on a thrilling narrative, one that promises to enthrall audiences and rewrite the entertainment landscape.

e& enterprise and Burjeel Holdings, one of the leading healthcare services providers in the MENA region, today announced two landmark collaborations aimed at redefining healthcare in the UAE and beyond.. These include the launch of a pioneering telemedicine services project and a strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU), both of which will revolutionise the realm of healthcare delivery.

The telemedicine services project exemplifies cutting-edge innovation in healthcare technology. Focusing on the development of a sophisticated cloud-based telemedicine application, the initiative aims to improve patient access to medical services by enabling remote medical care. It represents a transformative approach to healthcare that prioritises accessibility and efficiency across the region.

The MoU was signed by Salvador Anglada, CEO, e& enterprise and Safeer Ahamed, Group COO of Burjeel Holdings  in the presence of Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, e& and Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Founder and Chairman, Burjeel Holdings.  This MoU signifies a strategic alliance to promote sustainable healthcare solutions. The partnership emphasises advanced telehealth, remote patient care monitoring solutions and achieving sustainable healthcare goals in  chronic disease management.

Alberto Araque, CEO of e& enterprise IoT & AI, said: "We are embarking on a journey of profound transformation in healthcare delivery, in partnership with Burjeel Holdings. These collaborations are not just milestones, but catalysts for a new era of healthcare where technology becomes a cornerstone of patient care. We envision a future where our advanced telehealth solutions go beyond bridging the gap between healthcare professionals and patients, to also redefine the healthcare experience, with the goal of leading the industry towards a more connected, sustainable and patient-centric future, where technology and healthcare converge to create unparalleled value for our communities and the environment".

Safeer Ahamed, Group COO of Burjeel Holdings, said: “Our partnership with e& enterprise is not just about bringing advanced technology into the healthcare sector; it’s about transforming the way we deliver care to our patients. By integrating sophisticated telehealth and remote patient monitoring systems, we are set to enhance patient access, improve care quality, and streamline healthcare delivery. Our vision is to establish a patient-centric, technology-enabled healthcare model that not only sets new industry standards but also addresses crucial societal and environmental challenges. Through this venture, we aim to reduce carbon footprint and build a more sustainable and accessible healthcare future for the region.”

The collaboration is expected to enhance patient access to healthcare services, significantly increase operational efficiency through integrated telehealth solutions and improve the quality of care through remote patient monitoring. The partnership also aims to streamline communication between healthcare professionals, promote a more efficient healthcare delivery system and establish a patient-centric, technology-enabled healthcare model that sets new industry benchmarks.

In addition, these joint efforts address vital societal and environmental challenges. They aim to reduce the carbon footprint associated with patient travel and hospital visits by increasing the use of telehealth solutions. The initiative also includes the implementation of eco-friendly healthcare practices through telemedicine, contributing to a more sustainable healthcare delivery model. 

etisalat by e& announced two new fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) plans – 5G and 10G – that are set to significantly enhance the connectivity experience for consumers with ultra-fast fibre internet.

Khaled El Khouly Chief Consumer Officer, etisalat by e& said: “The new fibre internet plans 5G and 10G reflect our commitment to customers, providing an opportunity to better cater to their needs and giving them the best digital experience with the highest possible connection speeds.”

With the launch of 5 and 10 Gigabit per second speeds, etisalat by e& maintains its position as an innovator and disruptor in communications technology in the region, as it becomes the first provider to introduce speeds exceeding 1 Gigabit per second in the UAE.

eLife 5G and 10G – the most powerful performance network plans from etisalat by e&

The eLife 5Gbps plan, priced at AED 1799 per month excl. VAT on a 24-month plan, offers download speeds of 5 Gigabits per second, and the new eLife 10G plan, priced at AED 2,699 per month, excl. VAT on a 24-month plan, connects customers to the network at 10 Gigabits per second. Both plans come with unlimited calls to local and national fixed lines, Full Home Wi-Fi, to blanket customers’ homes with strong Wi-Fi and is also packed with over 300 TV channels, including free-to-air channels, 4K channels, premium TV like OSN CricLife, GolfLife, Starzplay Sports, Abu Dhabi Sports Premium Channels and more.

“With the launch of ground-breaking 5Gbps and 10Gbps speeds, we're pushing the boundaries of what's possible. This latest innovation reflects our commitment to cutting-edge connectivity, using a brand new XGS fibre network, we believe it will set new benchmarks in the industry. We invite everyone interested in unlocking the power 10Gbps fibre Internet speed to experience for themselves how these speeds represent the future of connectivity," said El Khouly.


Held in Riyadh, CX World Forum to gather industry leaders and decision-makers to explore the future of customer experience

e& enterprise announced today its participation as a strategic partner  at the highly anticipated Customer Experience (CX) World Forum, scheduled from 24 to 25 January 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Organised by the Saudi CX Association, the second edition of the CX World Forum brings together global brands, innovators, and thought leaders to discuss advances in customer experience strategies and solutions in the digital-first world. Hosted in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce with the support of His Excellency Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, Minister of Commerce of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the forum attracts participation from various government entities and private sector organisations across various industries. It aims to foster knowledge exchange and discourse surrounding the latest customer experience best practices and innovations.

Tareq Alangari, CEO,  e& enterprise, Saudi Arabia, said: "We are delighted to partner with the Saudi CX Association as sponsors of the Customer Experience World Forum. This event is an essential platform for exchanging invaluable insights and strategies in elevating customer experiences today. At e& enterprise, we are committed to leading the way by setting new standards and empowering businesses in Saudi Arabia to create remarkable customer journeys. Our participation in the CX World Forum exemplifies our unwavering dedication to fulfilling this objective.”

During the summit, e& enterprise will showcase its latest offerings aimed at cultivating sustainable customer experiences. “The CX World Forum is the ideal venue to engage with the industry’s brightest minds, build impactful partnerships, examine real-world challenges and solutions, and lay the groundwork to drive customer-centric transformation. By tapping into this opportunity, we aim to fuel mutual growth, optimise operations through collaborative insights, and cement Saudi Arabia's position at the forefront of CX excellence.”

Abdulaziz Al-Shamsan, CEO, Customer Experience World Forum, said: "We are thrilled to have e& enterprise’s support as our strategic partner. As a leader in customer-driven solutions, e& enterprise brings unmatched expertise that will truly impact and shape the discussions that will take place at the event. Their insights and offerings will empower both public and private sector firms to revolutionise how they engage customers and deliver value. The presence of e& enterprise underscores our collaborative effort to cement Saudi Arabia as a global hub driving innovation across customer experience.”

e& enterprise offers a wide range of customer experience tools, including CX consultancy, CPaaS, and CCaaS solutions. Business leaders and organisations looking to elevate their CX strategies can explore e& enterprise's cutting-edge products and services by visiting the e& enterprise booth at A11. Furthermore, visitors can register for the upcoming CX World Forum via their website: https://cxworld.sa

Home and business broadband services will soon get an uplift with a 50GPON network technology upgrade which will deliver speeds up to 50Gbps. etisalat by e& have made this possible with the successful completion of Middle East’s first symmetric 50G PON (50-Gigabit-capable passive optical networks) broadband service.

PON is the fiber optic technology that delivers broadband connections of 1 Gigabit and beyond. The access speed of PON over a single wavelength has increased almost 100 times, and each generational upgrade in PON technology-expected every 8 to 10 years- is driven by the constant increase in bandwidth demand.

50G PON is defined by the International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardisation Sector (ITU-T) as the next-generation PON after XG(S)-PON (10-Gigabit-capable passive optical networks). It is also a key technology for F5G-A (Fixed 5th Generation Advanced) defined by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer, etisalat by e&, said: “Currently, the mainstream technology is XG(S)-PON. However, with the rapid development of new digital services in recent years, such as glasses-free 8K 3D, ultra-fast cloud storage, and AR/VR, the research and development of next-generation access technologies has become increasingly important. Therefore, 50G PON emerges into a common choice in the industry. Compared to XG(S)-PON, 50G PON not only boosts an increase in the bandwidth by five times, but also reduces the latency by 10 times.”

etisalat by e& conducted testing on various 50G PON capabilities and the network will be qualified to deploy 50GPON.  All indicators have reached an industry-leading level, with the maximum line rate approaching the theoretical limit defined in the 50G PON standard. The optical power budget meets the Optical Distribution Network (ODN) application specifications in live networks and supports the coexistence of 50G PON and XG(S)-PON terminals, enabling to achieve a single integrated network.

As part of its transition to becoming a digital telco, etisalat by e& has been continuously investing in its network and technologies. “By adopting the latest 50G PON solution, we are providing premium digital services to our customers at the same time giving them the opportunity in the future to enjoy download speeds up to 50 Gbps, amplifying their overall experience,” added Murshed. 

As a pioneer in network technology and services, etisalat by e& successfully completed multiple cloud RAN (Radio Access Network) trials providing network innovation and agility to operators and enterprises to improve performance in the 5G ecosystem with ultra-reliable and low-latency communications.

With the evolution of 5G networks towards cloud-native architecture, one of the enablers of this evolution is the adoption of Cloud RAN. These trials conducted for the first time in Middle East and Africa (MEA) region are a major step in RAN innovation and openness allowing interoperation between cellular network equipment provided by different vendors.

Marwan bin Shakar, Senior Vice President, Access Network Development, etisalat by e&, said: “We are excited to announce our successful proof of concepts of Cloud RAN solutions. This is a great milestone in the journey of innovation within our industry to leverage the inter-operability and tailored nature of Cloud RAN, as we further embrace our commitment to provide our customers with the latest in digital innovations and enhanced experiences. The Cloud RAN solution will allow us to further innovate our services to expand into different real time applications and provide the best solutions with high-speeds and lower latencies.”

Cloud RAN, a new radio access technology based on centralised cloud computing benefits network operators and end users with the flexibility of the RAN deployment on the same infrastructure to run other cloud-based applications. This provides scalability with regards to the traffic demand, cost-efficiency with regards to capital and operational expenses in the long-term including power efficiency enabling innovation in the 5G eco-system.

Cloud RAN enables the use of open and interoperable RAN interfaces along with the cloud-based software solution for the baseband computing system. The baseband computing functionality is split into Distributed Unit (DU) and the Centralised Unit (CU) which is fully cloud-native enabling the use of “Commercial-off-the-Shelf” (COTS) server.

In addition, etisalat by e& was able to test and verify the performance of another critical element related to the Hardware Acceleration Technology used in CloudRAN dubbed as lookaside and in-line acceleration for the L1 physical layer processing.

  • e& crowned as the fastest growing tech brand in MEA region
  • e& most valuable brand portfolio in MEA, touching $17 billion in brand value
  • etisalat by e& ranked no.1 and the strongest telecom brand globally (AAA rating)
  • etisalat by e& strongest brand in MEA across all categories

With the successful transformation of e& to a technology group, e& has flourished into a leader of Middle Eastern and African (MEA) brands. The 2024 Brand Finance Global 500 Report unveiled at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos today confirmed e& as MEA’s Fastest Growing Technology Brand and the most valuable brand portfolio in MEA.

The annual report on the world’s most valuable and strongest brands highlighted e&'s evolution into a global technology and investment group fuelled by a performance that saw its brand portfolio skyrocket to US$17 billion in 2024. The 15 per cent increase from last year solidifies stakeholder confidence and cements e&’s position as the Most Valuable Brand Portfolio in Middle East Africa 2024.

Hatem Dowidar, GCEO of e&, said: “The renewed endorsement from Brand Finance is yet another sign of the successful transformation of the company into a global technology group. We launched the e& brand only two years ago, and it is wonderful to see the brand’s vitality and strength in the technology sector in MEA after such a short period. We are also similarly delighted with etisalat by e& being ranked as the strongest telecom brand in the world. Great achievements now, and of course this only increases our aspirations for the future.”

e&'s evolution from telecom brand leader to MEA’s fastest-growing tech brand underscores the progress of the Group’s transformation. Dowidar said that to better serve the needs of its diverse customers, e& has a lot more in store as it continues to roll out innovations and strengthen its position in emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, and cloud computing.

In addition to the accolades e& received, the Group’s CEO, Hatem Dowidar, has also been recognised by Brand Finance as the number one ranked telecom leader globally on the Brand Guardianship Index 2024.
 

etisalat by e& - No. 1 and Strongest Telecom Brand in the World 2024
 

In addition, Brand Finance named etisalat by e&, the Group's telecom pillar, the Strongest Telecom Brand in the World 2024, with a BSI score of 89.4 out of 100, resulting in AAA rating. etisalat by e& also preserved its leading position as the Strongest Brand in MEA for the fourth year across all categories. etisalat by e& is today among the top 20 strongest brands globally.

David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance, said: "e& has been on a journey of reinvention, guided by Mr. Dowidar's expertise and experience. Transforming an organisation with almost 50 years of heritage is no easy task, but he has shown not only a keen understanding of the business itself, but also how important a brand can be in facilitating a change. By evolving the historic etisalat brand into a tech organisation with global aspirations, Mr Dowidar is setting the group up for another 50 years of success."

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, it evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organisations of all kinds make strategic decisions. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports that rank brands across all sectors and countries.

 

etisalat by e& today announced its partnership with Advanced Real Estate Services (ADRES) to enhance its products including DARI, Abu Dhabi's comprehensive digital real estate ecosystem, backed by the Department of Muncipalities and Transport (DMT). DARI’s vision aims  to revolutionise the digital landscape of Abu Dhabi's real estate sector, aligning with the UAE’s vision to foster growth, competition and continued long-term success.

As part of the MoU, etisalat by e& is enabling ADRES’s digital framework, focusing on lead onboarding, improved communication, and expanding its reach through etisalat's digital platforms.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President of Small & Medium Business at etisalat by e&, and Moath Maqbol, General Manager of ADRES, attended the signing ceremony, demonstrating their commitment to advancing digital innovations in Abu Dhabi and furthering progress in the emirate.

“Our partnership with ADRES extends beyond delivering world-class digital services; it also involves enabling the growth of business communities. We are committed to providing the real estate communitywith advanced digital solutions that foster competition, expansion, and success,” Mahmoud said.

Moath Maqbol, General Manager of Advanced Real Estate Services (ADRES), said: “Our partnership with etisalat by e& will play a leading role in enhancing ADRES’s offerings, and revolutionising Abu Dhabi's real estate sector by boosting service accessibility and convenience of real estate services. This, in turn, will ultimately foster growth, competition, and success for businesses and communities.”

DARI’s digital offerings are available through its website, www.dari.ae, and a user-friendly mobile application, enhancing the ease and convenience of real estate transactions in Abu Dhabi.

etisalat by e& and Cisco, two of the leading giants in the telecommunications and technology sectors, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on advanced connectivity solutions and services for businesses in the UAE.

The MoU outlines the principles by which the companies intend to collaborate on go-to-market activities, serving enterprises and SMB business customers by enhancing engagement, co-developing innovative products, and strengthening managed services capabilities.

Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, CEO,  etisalat by e& UAE said, "This MoU marks an important step in our vision to create a more connected and sustainable UAE. The agreement is driven by a mutual desire to develop new value propositions and enhance existing solutions. Through our collaboration with Cisco, we endeavor to deliver pioneering connectivity and managed services solutions that enable our clients' digital transformation journeys, and contribute to the success of their business objectives." 

Reem Asaad, Vice President Middle East and Africa at Cisco said, "Our collaboration with etisalat by e& underscores Cisco's dedication to delivering innovative solutions to businesses in the UAE. Together with etisalat by e&, we aim to enable digital transformation while helping our customers achieve their sustainability objectives. By combining our expertise, we will provide the advanced foundation for businesses to accelerate their journey towards a digitally advanced operations in UAE."

This strategic alliance leverages the strengths of both organizations, combining etisalat by e&’s extensive reach and robust infrastructure with Cisco's innovative technology solutions. The collaboration is set to deliver more efficient and effective advanced connectivity solutions, which shall ultimately enhance customer experience while enabling their growth and transformation.

In addition, the collaboration will see the companies working together to develop a broad range of consultancy services for various commercial segments, such as business continuity, disaster recovery,  tech-refresh framework, and sustainable tech-enabled solutions. 

Mahmood added: "We firmly believe that advanced connectivity is vital for enduring business success. With such partnerships, we're poised to help our customers reach their business objectives as well as remain committed to sustainability and digital transformation. This will pave the way for operational efficiency, and growth of various companies, along with a positive impact on the UAE economy and society." 

etisalat by e& today launched a white paper on the rapidly progressing development of 5G networks, representing the next frontier in wireless communication technology in the UAE.

The white paper highlights etisalat by e&’s role in the country's transition to 5G-Advanced and its commitment to global standards. It outlines the company's milestones, such as the launch of 5G NSA in 2019 and the subsequent announcement of 5G SA readiness in 2021, demonstrating its proactive approach in adopting advanced technologies.

etisalat by e& is committed to advancing connectivity, with achievements such as Voice over New Radio (VONR) and network slicing. The company has expanded into 5G SA for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and smartphones, aiming to provide high-quality, reliable, and fast connectivity to consumers and businesses.

Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer at etisalat by e&, said: “We are proud to launch our white paper which outlines our commitment to technological excellence and leadership in the advancement of 5G technology in the UAE. It reflects our proactive approach to adopting advanced technologies and our dedication to pioneering innovation.”

etisalat by e&'s recent demonstration of the fastest 5G SA speed of 13.2 Gbps during GITEX 2023 contributes to positioning the UAE as a global leader in mobile speed. The white paper also addresses etisalat by e&'s strategic initiatives for sustainability, particularly in energy efficiency to accommodate the anticipated 10x traffic growth.

The 18-page document also sheds light on etisalat by e&'s offerings for both consumers and businesses, demonstrating the company's dedication to evolving with global technology standards and preparing for the next phase of connectivity through 5G-Advanced deployment aligned with Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards. 3GPP is a global collaboration that develops standards for mobile telecommunications, including 5G technology.

The white paper is available for download here