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Marking a promising beginning to the new year, e& Carrier & Wholesale achieved several noteworthy milestones at the Capacity Middle East 2024 event. A series of collaborations with operators, subsea cable partners as well as launches of innovative services have been announced. Amidst this progress, a momentous celebration took place during the Grand Gala Dinner.

In case you missed it, here’s a quick overview of the latest initiatives set in place:

Thought Leadership on Wholesale and Capacity

e& Carrier & Wholesale’s leadership team shared their views on various diverse topics discussed in the keynotes within the three-day event. Nabil Baccouche, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer, e&, talked about positioning the GCC as the next global connectivity hub. “There has been a remarkable progress towards innovation within a short period of time in this region. We are optimistic on the boundless potential that is yet to be unveiled fully in the coming years. Together, through a collaborative spirit and maximizing our talents and skillsets, we are on track to deliver tangible and impactful results.”

Pablo Mlikota, SVP/International Roaming & Mobile Services, e& Carrier & Wholesale, also shed the light on Generative AI and its implications on the tech industry. “Generative AI affects the customer journey in several significant ways, enhancing, and sometimes transforming, the traditional path that customers follow from awareness to purchase and beyond.”

Raluca Berchiu, Group Head of Customer Experience & Marketing, e& Carrier & Wholesale, touches the intricacies of why the glass ceiling is now a thing of the past, “Now and then, the barriers we perceive exist only in our minds, not in reality. At e&, women are not just present but they thrive in pivotal leadership roles, demonstrating the essential role in steering the company's trajectory towards success. Their influence and expertise are integral to the dynamic engine that propels e& forward with confidence and innovation.”

Consortium to Connect Intra Asia Region to India and the Middle East

e&, Telecom Egypt, Telin, and a leading Indian operator have entered into a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a consortium dedicated to the development of the ICE IV Project. This initiative aims to establish a cutting-edge data center-to-data center system, facilitating seamless connectivity between the Intra Asia region, India, and the Middle East. The project represents a demonstration of true collaboration, uniting stakeholders to create a unique route that enhances connectivity and fosters regional cooperation.

World's Largest Subsea Cable Landing in the UAE

e& Carrier & Wholesale is preparing to host the 2Africa subsea cable, heralding the most extensive subsea cable system landing in the UAE, extending over an impressive 45,000 km and ranking it  among the world's largest subsea cable projects, facilitating connectivity between Europe, Asia, and Africa.

The chosen gateway for this significant development is Kalba, a serene city in the North-eastern part the United Arab Emirates. This strategic choice complements e&'s existing Fujairah cable landing station, fortifying diversity and resilience in UAE’s connectivity landscape.

Gulf Gateway Cable (GGC-1) Launch

e& and Ooredoo have collaborated to introduce the Gulf Gateway Cable (GGC-1), a cutting-edge subsea infrastructure designed to modernize terrestrial networks in the Middle East. This strategic partnership aims to deploy state-of-the-art technology that offers improved latency, enhanced international connectivity, and heightened reliability.

The GGC-1 system will serve as a unique solution, connecting data centers in Abu Dhabi and Doha while facilitating seamless communication and data exchange.

Al Khaleej Subsea Cable to land in the UAE

A historic partnership between e& and Batelco was ratified at the Capacity Middle East event, where Nabil Baccouche, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer at e&, and Hani Askar, Chief Global Business Officer of Batelco, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the landing of the 1,400 km Al Khaleej subsea cable system in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Al Khaleej Cable, which will branch off from the 21,700 km long SEA-ME-WE 6 cable, will connect Bahrain with its neighboring countries, enhancing data exchange and communication capabilities further within the region.

This signing marks a symbolic step as e& commits to building the necessary infrastructure to land the cable in UAE as well as provide extensive operations and maintenance (O&M) throughout the lifecycle of the cable.

Cutting-Edge Voice Solutions

e& and Vodafone collaborated to offer comprehensive, fully managed voice solutions tailored for other operators, aiming to support their international voice traffic requirements and growth strategies. This partnership also addresses the increasing demand for voice over 4G/5G (VoLTE) services.

By leveraging their combined technical expertise, strategic partnerships, and complementary geographical reach, both operators are poised to deliver a robust, scalable, and consistent managed voice service on a global scale. Operators opting for integrated services from both e& and Vodafone can expect predictable costs across regions, optimized inbound revenues, streamlined regulatory compliance, enhanced fraud protection, and a seamless integration of innovative services through a cutting-edge cloud-based architecture.

New SmartHub Abu Dhabi Data Center

e& Carrier & Wholesale has extended its SmartHub data center presence to Abu Dhabi, further enhancing the digital infrastructure in the UAE and the broader Middle East region. This Uptime Tier III-certified data center also holds an impressive Estidama Pearl rating of 4, along with a USGBC LEED Gold certification, highlighting its sustainable design, construction, and operational excellence.

With the scalable capacity options, the data center offers built-in flexibility to accommodate the evolving needs of hyperscalers, CDN providers, carriers, and enterprises seeking to establish large integrated nodes, mirroring the capabilities of other SmartHub DC sites.

Coupled with the upcoming new cables landing at the SmartHub Abu Dhabi Data Center and its modular designs and offerings, it is primed to become an optimal edge site for the region.

Interestingly, Rashid Ali Al Ali, VP International Data Sales at e& Carrier & Wholesale, shared insights on the significant growth in demand for the data center infrastructure within the GCC. "As an industry leader, e& is spearheading this development through several strategic endeavors, most notably the expansion of our SmartHub Abu Dhabi Data Center. This advancement will substantially enhance our capacity to meet the evolving needs of our clientele," he remarked.

Region’s First Smart Connect Service

e& Carrier & Wholesale is revolutionizing the future of connectivity with its Smart Connect Service, Bandwidth on Demand, which revolutionizes the provisioning of Layer 1 and Layer 2 international connectivity with unprecedented ease.

With the NaaS market projected to reach USD 7 billion by 2029, this new solution aligns with the development of NaaS platforms and reflects the escalating demand for flexible network solutions, while also anticipating explosive growth in the sector.

This innovative offering operates on a pay-per-use model, providing customers with the flexibility of elasticity, scalability, and scheduling options. Its self-service portal empowers customers to access up to 100G bandwidth with just a few clicks, featuring automatic provisioning for swift deployment.

Furthermore, this service adheres to MEF compliance standards, ensuring seamless connectivity and upholding industry benchmarks for network stability and efficiency.

IPX and 5G SA Connectivity Boost

e& Carrier & Wholesale and Orange have forged a strategic alliance to enhance IPX and 5G SA connectivity. This collaboration unfolded within e&’s SmartHub IPX Data Center, resulting in a remarkable 10-fold increase in roaming capacity. This advancement enables a greater number of regional MNOs to access low-latency routes, significantly enhancing the roaming experience for international users. By utilizing Orange Wholesale's premium inter-Middle East routes, the lengthy round-trip delays often experienced when routing through traditional PoPs in Europe are eliminated, guaranteeing a smooth ‘roam like home’ experience.

Furthermore, as pioneers in technological innovation, e& and Orange's wholesale units are actively collaborating to conduct comprehensive 5G standalone (5G SA) roaming tests across both operators' footprints. This joint effort demonstrates a commitment to advancing connectivity solutions and meeting the evolving needs of the telecommunications industry.

Grand e& Carrier & Wholesale Gala Dinner

On the evening of February 7th, e& Carrier & Wholesale hosted a remarkable Grand Gala Dinner, with an astonishing attendance of about 1,000 distinguished guests. It was the right set up for celebrating all the meaningful collaborations and achievements with their valued partners filled with exceptional entertainment, prizes, and mind-blowing performances.  

Recent developments accentuate the strategic foresight driving e& Carrier & Wholesale forward. The ongoing progress on the submarine and terrestrial infrastructure promises to amplify connectivity, enriching the lives and experiences of end-users. Moreover, strategic alliances with industry leaders and an innovative managed solutions model signify a concerted effort to anticipate and meet the evolving demands of a dynamic market.

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, staying ahead of the curve is imperative. By proactively embracing technological advancements, building strategic partnerships and providing enhanced customer experiences, e& Carrier & Wholesale is set to yield substantial and enduring impacts, strengthening its position as a prominent leader in the telecommunications arena.

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