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In an exclusive interview with Telecom Review, Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) talks about forging new partnerships and future innovations, during GITEX2021

du in collaboration with Digital DEWA implemented the region's first industrial private 5G slicing through 5G stand-alone technology, what other innovations can we expect from the organization in the future?

The strategic partnership alongside Digital DEWA aims to make valuable contributions towards making Dubai the smartest city in the world. Already, the region’s first industrial private 5G slicing through 5G standalone technology has been implemented and, through edge computing, this will offer the utility industry enhanced efficiency and improve business processes through an effective and secure state-of-the-art network.

Looking ahead, the objective now is to build new use cases that also utilize edge computing capabilities to streamline operations, boost network security, and accelerate digital transformation across several verticals simultaneously, including utilities, healthcare, transportation, and media, to name a few. The new private 5G slicing technology will ultimately exceed emerging requirements in various areas, and all future innovations will deliver a similar impact.

GITEX 2021 is bringing together global industry leaders and innovative players in the technology sector. What kind of strategic new partnerships are you forging during the exhibition and are the new solutions you’re launching?

For du, the privilege of being involved at GITEX is always exciting for two reasons; the event provides a unique platform to announce new strategic partnerships and showcase next-generation solutions and technologies to innovative minds and industry leaders. This year, du is participating at GITEX under the theme ‘Powered by Humans,’ which is inspired by a long-standing brand belief that technology lives in harmony for the benefit of humanity.

Technology enables the future and, as a care advocate brand, we aspire to stand by humanity. The next stage of this pledge comes at GITEX 2021, where the spotlight will be thrust on 5G technology, new smart solutions, gaming and entertainment, the business and community segments, and the most recent advancements made as a result of several collaborations with different entities.

Please tell us about du’s recently announced digital well-being initiative. How will it benefit communities in the UAE?

Building a sustainable and responsible business remains an enduring purpose of du. As digital technology becomes even more influential to people’s livelihoods and vital across business dimensions and national development projects, it is essential that nobody is left behind. Therefore, du’s digital well-being initiative has been introduced to uphold this mandate. As a new, forward-facing strategic approach, the initiative will help ensure the digital well-being of specific segments of the UAE community, namely children and people of determination across the country.

By promoting accessibility, transparency, and accountability, UAE communities will ultimately benefit as those most vulnerable become familiar with using the internet safely through comprehensive education. Residents will also become equipped with essential digital skills and position themselves for a bright future in which they make valuable contributions to businesses, industries, and the country. In taking these steps, the well-being initiative will also foster inclusiveness and overcome digital divides that currently persist in the digital landscape, actions that align with the UAE Digital Government Strategy 2025.

In its new socio-economic development plan, the UAE government has dedicated principle 7 out of the 10 guidance principles to the development of digital, technical, and scientific excellence of the UAE. How will du contribute to this vision?

As a leading national organization in the telecommunications and ICT space, du will make valuable contributions to the development of digital, technical, scientific excellence in the UAE by driving innovation in these areas and utilizing the expertise, experience, and resources at its disposal to continue serving as a force for good and introducing new solutions that support sustained development.

Delivering the benefits of ICT to all remains a topmost priority and, through related initiatives and further network infrastructure enhancements, the company will also provide more nationwide services that support this principle, with a strong emphasis on 5G, IoT, and smart city integration. For du, innovative products and services represent a gateway to fulfilling everybody’s right to benefit from the latest telecommunications advancements. All our existing products and services, as well as those that will be introduced in the years to come, will support both the UAE’s digital, technical, and scientific development agenda and the wider socio-economic development plan.

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