Universal Broadband Can Be Achieved Through PPP – Etisalat Group CEO

Universal Broadband Can Be Achieved Through PPP – Etisalat Group CEO

The Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group, Mr. Ahmad Julfar, has said that Universal broadband is a real target that can be achieved through public private partnerships to promote greater digital, social and financial inclusion in the developing world.

He stated this while addressing an audience of some of the world’s leading figures in telecommunications at Mobile World Summit (MWS), the premier event of the ongoing 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Julfar who also holds the position of Vice Chair of the GSMA, which organizes the annual Congress and unites over 800 telecom operators and over 250 companies that operate in the broader mobile eco system, said that the public internet needs to evolve further and this requires investment in capacity, new solutions, technologies and innovative business models. The telco sector will not be able to drive this alone, as they face the risk of a big disruption due to the shifts across the value chain.

Etisalat believes that access to broadband is a basic right for everyone and it can be served smartly, where needed. But providing universal access to broadband poses a challenge for telcos because network investments not only have long pay-back periods and capex on infrastructure today yields diminishing returns.

The benefits of increasing connectivity are clear to see in economic, social and environmental fields, but there is a clear digital gap. Some 60 per cent of the world’s population remains unconnected, the majority of which is in rural areas of the enveloping world.

 By 2020, approximately 3.8 billion men and women, or half of the world’s population will be connected to the internet via mobile and a vast majority of the new users will be in developing countries.
Etisalat Group today encompasses 19 countries across two continents, and includes dynamic emerging markets across the Middle East, Asia and Africa serving over 182 million subscribers.

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