Etisalat, the UAE’s biggest telecoms operator, announced its rebranding as e& on Wednesday as it seeks to transform into a global technology investment conglomerate.
The rebrand was launched by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, on Wednesday.
“The transformation of e& from a telecom company founded more than four decades ago in the UAE into a global influence in digitalisation highlights its role in upholding the UAE’s sustainable economic development and diversification plans,” Sheikh Mansour said.
“We commend e& for being the national champion that steers its global digitalisation leadership through pioneering advanced technologies, advancing ICT [information and communications technology] infrastructures and fuelling geographic expansions while unlocking value."
Based in Abu Dhabi, the operator was founded in 1976 and is the UAE's oldest telecoms company. It has operations in countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, serving more than 156 million customers.
Last week, it reported a 3 per cent rise in 2021 net profit to Dh9.3 billion ($2.5bn). Revenue rose 3 per cent on the year to Dh53.3bn during the period.
The operator is also exploring the development of 6G, the next generation mobile network that will allow for much faster and more sophisticated technology use.
As part of its new strategy, e& aims to enhance customer experience across all segments by “ideating, designing and delivering a range of innovative and breakthrough technologies”, the company said.
Telecom will retain the previous branding identity in the UAE and internationally. It will expand into new markets while continuing to drive operational performance in existing ones.
Division e& life will deliver next-generation technologies and digital experiences through smart connectivity platforms in entertainment, retail and financial services, the company said.
Its new e& enterprise section will drive the digital transformation of governments, corporates and enterprises.
“Through its breakthrough technology solutions in cyber security, cloud, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, as well as deploying mega projects, e& enterprise will create real business value as it continues to leverage on its expertise as a digital managed company having the strength and reach of a global trusted partner,” the company said.
The company's e& capital arm will focus on new acquisitions and mergers in line with its vision to invest in "ideas that make the future".
“To ensure that the next chapter of our journey is a success, we made the decision to realign our business model so that we can stay agile and fit for the future,” Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi, chairman of e&, said.
Last month, the company completed the acquisition of elGrocer, an online marketplace for groceries that operates across the Emirates.
In August, Etisalat acquired an additional stake in Maroc Telecom Group, increasing its effective ownership from 48.4 per cent to 53 per cent.
“We will continue to identify new growth opportunities, take full advantage of strong partnerships and maintain our edge as the global technology investment conglomerate that makes a difference in people’s lives,” Hatem Dowidar, group chief executive of e&, said.