The UAE has the highest Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) penetration globally, with a coverage of 94.3%. A significant amount of this coverage is provided by Etisalat and as part of its commitment, the service provider is continuously enhancing this network connectivity.
Etisalat is working closely with R&M currently to upgrade and extend its FTTH network with the innovative SYNO dome closure solution from R&M. This undertaking enables Etisalat to have one of the first 'patch-free' connectivity solutions in the region, which translates to a resilient, tamper-proof network that increases the reliability and uptime of crucial connectivity services for both home and business users.
Esmaeel Alhammadi, Senior Vice President, Network Development, Etisalat said, "With Etisalat's corporate strategy focused on 'Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies' the network forms a significant component of this digital transformation journey. Etisalat has continuously focused on investing in innovation and on next generation technologies and services to expand and enhance the network.
"This achievement signifies that we have maintained consistent leadership globally in FTTH penetration setting a benchmark in the global telecom industry. This achievement was only possible due to the continuous support and vision of the leadership of the UAE in the development and modernization of the infrastructure. Etisalat aims to further increase the quality of our FTTH network focusing on reliability, scalability and flexibility."
Prior to the upgrade, Etisalat utilized above-ground fiber cabinets, which required maintenance on a fortnightly basis. Not only was this cumbersome, but it also added the risk of disruption of services due to unintentional disconnection of fiber cables. The harsh conditions in the Middle East also meant that contamination and corrosion were both common challenges the service provider faced.
With such an extensive network, maintenance of the network was proving to be extremely challenging and a drain on its resources. The telco now employs a 'set and forget' approach as the SYNO Dome's gel cold seals conform to IP68, the industry's highest ingress protection ratings, and require no maintenance. At the same time, the modular nature of the cabinet allows technicians to make modifications to the connections very easily, and with minimal risk to services of other customers.
By leveraging the SYNO Dome closure, Etisalat has now moved the critical Fiber Distribution Hub (FDH) units underground, which is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but has also greatly reduced the cost of civil contracting. The patch-free nature of the new systems eliminates the possibility of tampering or unintentional disconnection of cables.
A network for the future
Etisalat's new FTTH infrastructure is designed to support upcoming technologies and is highly adaptable. For example, currently industry standard duct cables are being used, but as future systems such as micro cables and micro ducts become mainstream, they will be supported within the existing network and incorporated in future developments.
Etisalat received round-the-clock support and extended comprehensive trainings to not just their staff, but partners and technology providers as well. This means that everyone involved in the deployment and maintenance of its FTTH network has the skills required to ensure it is truly world-class. It is with the support of technology partners such as R&M that the UAE is capable of leading the world with innovative future-ready projects.
"We are proud to be a part of the FTTH projects that are shaping the future of the Middle East. Our commitment to service providers such as Etisalat is that we will continue to introduce world-class solutions and industry best practices to support their ambitions," said Nabil Khalil, Executive Vice President, R&M Middle East, Turkey & Africa at R&M Middle East, Turkey and Africa.