UAE's du signs JV deal with Bahrain's Batelco for technology infrastructure

The platform will help improve services by both telecom operators

Dar Takaful's shares closed 6.6% higher at 61 fils per share on the Dubai Financial Market on Sunday as it announced a Dh215m acquisition of two Noor Takaful business units. Christopher Pike / The National
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Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, known as du, on Monday said it formed a joint venture with Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) to set up a regional infrastructure platform.

The technology platform, equally owned by du and Batelco, will be capable of delivering connectivity and data centre services across the region, du said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares trade.

Through the platform, du and Batelco, will be in a position to “serve their customers more comprehensively and efficiently”, it said without saying how much the companies are investing in the venture or where it will be based.

Du's capital expenditure on technology will surge as much as 25 per cent to Dh1.5 billion this year as the telecoms operator aims to support 5G connectivity in the UAE, which has more than 100 per cent mobile phone penetration.

"Next year's allocation will certainly be higher," Saleem Al Balooshi, chief infrastructure officer of du told The National, earlier this month.

The new 5G network requires more computing power, analytics, memory and cloud infrastructure, which demands greater investment in data centres, Mr Balooshi said. Du, which operates 10 data centres in the UAE, plans to open three more in the next two years. The operator has 120 5G towers in the UAE and is set to add 580 more by the end of the year.