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e&’s $6bn pledge to advance ‘affordable’ connectivity

People, Person, Groupshot e&
e& and ITU executives at Mobile World Congress. e&'s investment plan will enhance network accessibility and affordability in emerging economies by expanding network coverage

The UAE’s e&, the telecommunications company formerly known as Etisalat, has committed $6 billion to improve network connectivity and digital services across its 16 operating countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

The investment pledge was made to the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Partner2Connect Digital Coalition, which will help drive technological advancement, infrastructure development, and innovative digital solutions between 2024 and 2026.

The group’s markets vary from the UAE, which has the world’s fastest mobile network and the highest percentage of fibre penetration, to Pakistan and African countries with limited connectivity. 

The investment plan will enhance network accessibility and affordability in emerging economies by expanding network coverage and increasing speed and access for individuals in areas with limited or expensive access.

It will further facilitate the widespread adoption of digital services, ensuring essential services like mobile financial solutions, telehealth, and education reach those in underserved regions.

The investment will be targeted at the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Chad, Togo, and Niger.

“With these investments, we can also better serve customers and allow them to engage in more economic activities,” said Hatem Dowidar, group CEO, e&. 

“We aim to drive economic growth, innovation, and infrastructure development, significantly reducing inequalities and empowering communities to thrive in a more inclusive and connected digital world,” he added.

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