du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), showcased some of its cutting-edge innovations and solutions that are helping enterprises achieve their digital transformation objectives at the recently-concluded GITEX Technology Week. du's strategic vision is clear and that is to help customers embark upon digitalization. In an interview with Telecom Review, Fahad Al Hassawi, Deputy CEO of Telco Services at du, outlined the importance of humanizing technology so that it does not overwhelm the consumer.
Can you tell us about your activity at GITEX this year?
We have been regular participants for the last 14 years. GITEX is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase all of the solutions that we have recently launched to the market, or that we plan to launch in the future. This year, our main focus was on the theme of humanizing technology. Technology is becoming slightly overwhelming for the layperson and so we try to demonstrate real life cases using new technologies. The response that we received from the visitors is overwhelming.
5G has taken center stage at GITEX this year. How is du evolving with advancing technologies?
5G is the new buzzword. Everyone is talking about it! It is taking mobility and connectivity to a whole new level. The speeds, the latency and the capacity that 5G is able to offer will introduce new use cases in the market in ways we haven’t seen before. This year, we have showcased many use cases for both individuals and the industry as a whole.
An example of this is the launch of our new AI-powered healthcare system. The ‘AI to Solve Real World Challenges’ system involves a partnership with three best-in-class AI companies: Infermedica, Infervision and Enbisys. Not only do these applications augment du’s eHealth B2B portfolio, they also reinforce du’s strategy to optimize the UAE’s healthcare industry with particular reverence to increasing access, affordability and efficiency for the key stakeholder – the patient.
In what other way is du making 5G a reality for its customers?
I think the first stage of this is trying to expand the coverage of 5G as much as possible. Similar to the deployment of previous technologies, it takes time. Operators need to build the base stations across the region. In the UAE, both operators are doing extremely well. We are number one in the Arabic world in bringing 5G to our customers. The next big step is making the devices available. We are already working very closely with all the device manufacturers. We are creating installment plans and offering bundles in order to make 5G accessible to all. For the next 12-18 months we will be focusing on making this happen.
What differentiates du from its competitors?
Our primary focus is the experience we give to our customers. At the end of the day, we are offering the same product as our competitors. It is the way we make the product available, the interaction between parties and the after sales service that can set us apart. We are focused on providing a digital experience to our customers. We believe that the way we interact with customers on a personal and human level is an area of importance. That is why we put a lot of effort and care into our company culture. We believe this reflects externally.
How do you address security concerns in relation to 5G?
We are a licensed telecom company in the UAE. We are obliged to follow very strict security policies and procedures. I like to assure our customers that the same security attention that we have always given to all our products will still continue as 5G becomes more available. 5G is more secure than any previous network has been, but we always take precautions to ensure the safety and security of our customers.