Alcatel-Lucent has announced that it has been selected by UAE-based telecoms operator Etisalat to speed up the deployment of its nationwide fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. Under the multi-million euro deal, Etisalat will utilise the French vendor’s gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology to connect 50,000 households and business customers to the ‘eLife’ network. The platform will enable Etisalat to provide residential and business customers with simultaneous access to several high-definition (HD) TV channels, a video-on-demand (VoD) library and broadband internet. ‘Etisalat is always keen to stay at the forefront of innovation in order to constantly provide our customers with the most attractive and advanced telecoms services,’ commented Essa Al Haddad, chief marketing officer at Etisalat UAE, adding, ‘Etisalat’s FTTH rollout in the UAE positions Abu Dhabi to become the first capital city in the world with 100% fibre deployment by the end of this year. UAE will be one of the first countries in the world to have nationwide fibre-optics coverage by 2011.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the eLife network was officially launched in Abu Dhabi in December 2009, after it was revealed that 665,000 households had been connected. Etisalat is also rolling out the FTTH network in Dubai and Sharjah.