Du CEO says will use Huawei network for 5G, plans 800 sites

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) said its Capex during the second quarter of 2019 rose 92.7 percent to AED 286 million.
Du revenue Q2 2019

“Our strong capital position enabled us to increase our capital expenditure to AED 467 million during H1 2019, investing in our network and capabilities, paving the way for the commercial launch of 5G technology,” EITC CEO Osman Sultan said.

du demonstrated the region’s first-ever Video over LTE (ViLTE) 5G call. The video call was made using the telco’s commercial 4G and 5G Non-standalone (NSA) network, IMS Core and 5G.

Du has reported revenue of AED 3.19 billion, EBITDA of AED 1.47 billion and net profit of AED 464 million in the second quarter of the year.

Fixed revenue increased 5.8 percent to AED 617 million, while mobile revenue decreased 6.8 percent to AED 1.69 billion in Q2 2019, due to pressure from declining voice revenues in Q2 2019.

EITC CEO Osman Sultan said: “It is clear that our efficiency plan and investments in new technologies to drive forward our digital strategy and prepare our company for the needs of tomorrow allowed us to contain the erosion of EBITDA.”

Mobile subscriber base declined due to the clean-up of prepaid base in line with My Number My Identity campaign. Fixed line subscribers increased 2.4 percent during the second quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, du has discussed U.S. restrictions on Huawei with the Chinese company and believes they will not hamper its 5G network.

Du uses Huawei equipment in its 5G network, but Osman Sultan said it discussed the matter with Huawei and it did not see “any issue”.

“We do not have a concern for the network deployment, for the use of Huawei equipment within the network,” Sultan told reporters on an earnings conference call.

Du, which is also using Nokia’s 5G technology, expects to have 800 5G mobile infrastructure sites by the end of the year.

The UAE is one of several Gulf Arab states, who are close partners of the United States, using Huawei 5G technology.

Etisalat, the other telecoms company in the UAE, is using 5G technology from Huawei and Ericsson.