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e& announces the future telecom hub SmartHub Kalba

26 May 2022

Dubai: The Carrier and Wholesale Services (C&WS) division of e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group) today announced the readiness of its new Smarthub Datacentre. This datacentre, which will provide disaster recovery to the existing SmartHub facilties in Fujairah and Dubai. The SmartHub Kalba will be the future telecom hub for the region where more submarine cables will be landing strengthening e& position as a leading regional hub.

The announcement demonstrates e&’s commitment to delivering a superior customer experience by creating unique digitalisation services with optimal business benefits.

The state-of-art Tier 3 data centre facility in Kalba is powered by Africa-1 and 2 Africa, two new subsea telecom cable systems providing diverse and reliable connectivity to Africa, the Middle East and Europe. This will enable 2 Africa submarine cable as part of the SmartHub ecosystem enabling easy access to MENA region and global customers from various industry verticals will now have direct access to enhanced connectivity by using SmartHub Kalba for their critical business requirements.

The SmartHub Kalba facility, fully operational at the beginning of this year, has already been powered by Africa-1 subsea telecom system. It gives customers direct access to enhanced connectivity for addressing critical business requirements. The expansion of e&’s SmartHub wholesale data centre follows the opening of facilities in Fujairah and Dubai.

The data centre also offers the opportunity for global players to expand their regional presence through its geo-redundant ecosystem.

With the launch of SmartHub Kalba, e&’s C&WS division has set a benchmark in the region in line with the company’s overall strategy to bring transformative technologies and innovative solutions to e&’s customers across various industry verticals. It is also aligned with the UAE leadership’s vision to continue leading as an ICT and data hub for the region, addressing the diverse requirements of global telecom infrastructure.

Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer, e&, said: “We are committed to making SmartHub a location of choice for carriers, cloud service providers, Internet exchanges and companies looking for a trusted carrier-grade data centre. As one of the biggest neutral carrier hotels, our SmartHub data centres will be an ICT bridge between continents, supporting critical business activities for global customers. SmartHub Kalba will enable us to increase our capabilities and global capacity further so that we can continue to meet our international clients’ evolving needs for infrastructure across Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East and the Americas.”

The addition of the largest subsea system in the world will enable us to continue meeting customer needs for new applications such as cloud computing, on-demand video and social media. It will also increase the capacity, quality and availability of internet connectivity between Africa and the rest of the world.

By directly connecting numerous countries around the entire coast of Africa to Europe and the Middle East region, businesses and consumers will benefit from enhanced capacity and reliability for services such as telecommuting, HD TV broadcasting, internet services, video conferencing, advanced multimedia and mobile video applications. The project will also underpin future mobile and fixed broadband access. This will help countries to implement their 2030 vision and meet many of the SDG-related challenges related to or depending on internet connectivity.

The SmartHub ecosystem serves almost two billion population aiming to reach another one billion with the addition of the new subsea cable systems and data centre in Kalba.

In addition, the data centre offers the opportunity for global players to expand their regional presence through its geo-redundant ecosystem. The SmartHub serves the carrier, CDN (content delivery networks), and enterprise verticals such as banking, financial services and insurance. It is also aligned with the UAE leadership’s vision to continue leading as an ICT and data hub for the region, addressing the diverse requirements of global telecom infrastructure.

The Africa-1 submarine cable system spans 10,000 km, initially landing in Kenya, Djibouti, Pakistan, UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and France. The system also lands in Sudan, across Egypt through diverse new terrestrial routes on the way to France, and further connects other countries in the Mediterranean such as Algeriaand Italy.

Etisalat Group has changed its brand identity to e&, effective from 23 February 2022. Its strategy aims to accelerate growth through the creation of a resilient business model representing the Group’s main business pillars. The Telecoms business currently continues to operate led by Etisalat UAE in e&’s home market and by existing subsidiaries for international operations, upholding the Group’s rich telecoms heritage, bolstering the strong telecoms network and maximising value for the Group’s various customer segments. Ramping up the digital services for individual customers to elevate their digital-first lifestyle, e& life brings next-generation technologies through smart connectivity platforms in entertainment, retail and financial technology. To enable the digital transformation of governments, large-scale enterprises and corporates, e& enterprise focusses on maximising value through its end-to-end solutions in cybersecurity, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as deploying mega projects. e& capital allows the Group to focus its efforts on driving new mergers and acquisitions while maximising shareholder value and strengthening global presence.