UAE telecoms operator Etisalat plans to spend AED7 billion (USD1.9 billion) on the expansion of its ‘eLife’ fibre-optic network over the next three years, Reuters reports, citing a senior official. ‘Etisalat has invested AED7 billion so far. We will invest a similar amount in the next three years,’ Etisalat’s chief operating officer, Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, told a conference. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Etisalat announced in April 2008 that Chinese vendor Huawei had been engaged to build a large-scale fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network across the whole of Abu Dhabi. Upon completion (originally slated for end-2010 but since pushed back by a year), Etisalat claims that the city will become the world’s first capital fully connected to FTTH technology. Etisalat, which is 60% owned by the UAE state with the remainder held by local investors, also plans to roll out eLife in Dubai and Sharjah and eventually plans to connect all of the UAE’s households to the fibre-optic network.