Zain KSA has been labelled as the Kingdom’s preferred digital services provider following the great achievements the operator has made throughout its journey. In an exclusive interview with Eng. Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Aldeghaither, CEO, Zain KSA, Telecom Review delved into the operator’s main accomplishments that encompass most importantly having the fourth largest 5G network in the world and the largest in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Read more: Zain KSA empowering the Kingdom’s digital journey

It is no surprise that the industry was dealt an immense blow as soon as COVID-19 hit. Operators and vendors alike, across the world, have had to deal with (or are currently dealing with) an immense burden due to widespread lockdowns and the rise in remote working and learning. This has caused a great deal of pressure on networks everywhere. However, companies have been quick to realize that this may just be the right time to leverage emerging technologies to ensure business continuity and minimize the disruption of business operations.

Read more: Nokia MEA’s CTO talks about 5G, AI, ML and post-pandemic digital transformation

With more than 20 years of experience in business development in telecommunications, Florence Sebastien, CEO, FSE Consulting spoke to Telecom Review about her journey and the role that FSE Consulting is playing today in the industry.

Read more: “Once the crisis is over, a deeper understanding of digitization will appear”, says Florence...

COVID-19 updates
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Keeping in line with the government directives to encourage citizens to stay at home and be safe in the current scenario, Etisalat’s bundle of initiatives for consumers and businesses will make it easier to study, work, entertain and remain connected with family and friends from the comfort of their homes. 

During this unprecedented period that has challenged both health and economy, Etisalat has taken many steps to ensure that its network, services and teams are well equipped to support all its customers. Etisalat teams are working non-stop to make sure that all its customers, including government departments, large enterprises, SMBs and subscribers across the country, stay connected.

With overall data traffic on the telco’s network expected to surge exponentially, Etisalat’s advanced network is resilient, reliable and secure and has sufficient flexibility to adapt to changing consumer and business demands.  Etisalat offers all the connectivity tools and services people need to continue to communicate and conduct business including the fastest fixed broadband and mobile network in the region.

Etisalat recently increased its local network capacity while also boosting its international data capacity to enable all customers with the best possible experience while they, learn, work and get entertained from home.

A wide range of products and services are being offered to customers, including access to remote working apps, remote collaboration tools, zero-rating and whitelisting of educational websites,  free on-demand movies and premium content on eLife, StarzPlay, OSN and Switch TV, free eLife upgrades, and ‘Freedom’ postpaid mobile data promotions, among others. These are designed to provide entertainment to families at home, facilitate uninterrupted distance e-learning, boost employee productivity and ensure seamless business continuity.

Consumer entertainment
With more people staying at home, Etisalat’s special promotions will entertain as well as help customers enjoy higher speeds on their home network.

Existing elife TV and internet bundle (triple play) customers who chose to move to a new eLife unlimited Plan will receive the upgraded benefits at no extra charge for three months.

The eLife Unlimited plans offer speeds from an incredible 250Mbps more than enough to work-from home and keep everyone streaming their favourite content. Subscribers also have the option to downgrade back to their old plan if they wish for no penalty during this time. 

eLife viewers will be kept entertained with free on demand movies each week for the next six weeks as well as enjoy free StarzPlay for three months with the latest Arabic, Western TV series and movies simply by subscribing on-screen. For customers who want more premium add-on packs “Arabia, Western, Asian or Pinoy” they can also subscribe for free for the first three months. Customers will also receive an entire month of OSN’s El Farq package containing some of the biggest names in entertainment with channels being opened for free viewing for all eLife TV customers.

With Etisalat’s recent launch of a brand-new OTT video service SwitchTV, subscribers can enjoy free premium content such as movies, live TV and on demand movies. The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, Google Play or the new Huawei App Gallery and is available to all UAE residents regardless of provider.

Staying connected
Etisalat has also launched special promotions for postpaid customers to stay in touch with family and friends. Existing ‘Freedom’ postpaid customers on 200GB and unlimited data activated in March 2019 will benefit from an extended double data promotion on their plans.

Education
Etisalat is working closely with the Ministry of Education and TRA to enable free mobile data for students whose families do not have internet services at home. This is to support distance learning, giving them access to specific applications identified by the ministry. The ministry has prepared a list of eligible students that was shared with Etisalat to provide them with mobile data packages.

In support of the ministry’s initiatives, Etisalat has granted zero-rate access to selected educational URLs, allowing students to have free access on their mobile phones without consuming any data. In addition, all eLife customers can avail free educational content (‘Madrasa’) on their TV screens.

Etisalat has also provided access to remote learning applications (Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Blackboard and Zoom) on the fixed network and Microsoft Teams, Blackboard and Zoom on the mobile network.

Remote working
For a period of three months, businesses can also access for free its online collaboration platform - Etisalat CloudTalk Meeting – to help maintain business continuity by providing a secure platform to collaborate from any device, location, and network in the UAE.

Business operations can remain uninterrupted with Cloudtalk’s unlimited video conferencing and online collaboration sessions without any additional fee for this service. The platform provides state-of-the-art features for meetings and collaborations that help in boosting business productivity and contributes to an elevated user experience.

Remote customer care
Etisalat is encouraging consumers and business customers to also utilise mobile and online services including ‘My Etisalat UAE’ app, Etisalat business mobile apps and business portals.

With the ‘My Etisalat UAE’ app, customers have a 24/7 access to make payments in a safe and secure manner connecting instantly using live chat. The app enables access to bills and payments, share credit and data, check usage and shop.

 

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