27 Apr 2011
The UAE’s incumbent telecoms operator Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has announced that it has completed the deployment of its fibre-optic infrastructure in Abu Dhabi, making the city the first capital in the world to be entirely connected to a FTTx network, Arabian Business reports. According to Nasser Bin Obood, acting CEO at Etisalat, over 1.125 million households in the capital have been connected to the network, 722,582 of which are ready to use the network, while the remaining 429,801 homes are classified as ‘activated homes’. ‘The fibre-optic network is a key turning point in the development of telecom infrastructure, as this network with all its enormous benefits and features is expected to have an impact in all sectors,’ Bin Obood said. Etisalat has deployed a total of 2.8 million kilometres of fibre-optics across the UAE; the company expects to complete its rollout project by the end of 2011, making the UAE the first country in the world that is entirely covered with a fibre-optic network.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Etisalat officially launched services over its fibre-optic network, dubbed ‘e-Life’, in December 2009, with triple-play packages bundling landline telephony, broadband and IP television services following in May 2010. So far, the company has invested AED7 billion (USD1.9 billion) in the network, and it plans to invest a further AED7 billion in the expansion of e-Life over the next three years. At 31 March 2011 the network served more than 230,000 subscribers.