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In the second episode of Future Now, Miguel Angel Villalonga, CEO, ETS, e& enterprise cloud, discusses Etisalat's transformation from a telecommunications giant to a cutting-edge technology company, e&.

“It is a significant change," he says. "It is not only a reflection of the changing times in general for the telecoms market, but also the behaviour of our customers, and the importance of the digital world and technology in every industry and segment we touch.

“It is a statement of a company that is no longer a telco, but is now geared to be a technology group. It’s telecom plus, so that's why the name is Etisalat&. It is Etisalat and everything else we want to do.”

Produced by Gulf News in association with Microsoft UAE, Future Now is a podcast series hosted by Ihsan Anabtawi, COO and CMO of Microsoft UAE, where he sits down with thought leaders and discusses where we’re at and how we move forward.

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In this episode, titled Digital Transformation at Scale, Villalonga talks about e&’s three new divisions, e& life that provides digital solutions to consumers, e& capital, a venture capital fund that invests in tech companies, and his organisation, e& enterprise, which offers digital transformation solutions to businesses.

Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

“We are very proud of being the country’s flagship company in technology,” he says. “But I think the real contribution has been that we have been an infrastructure builder. Our strength comes from our continued infrastructure vision and ambition.

“We are the country with the highest fibre-to-home penetration; the mobile network is unique – the fastest network in the world; one of the first countries to deploy 5G technologies; our data centre network is unique – we have built 10 times the capacity that we had six years ago. And around this infrastructure, we create layers that look at adding value to our customers. For example, the creation of Etisalat Digital that now has become e& enterprise.

“We provide solutions using our infrastructure to help our customers in their digital transformation journey, around cloud technology, IoT, security, AI, so there's real value that can be extracted from technology for our customers.”

Future Now series is also available on all leading podcast channels as well as on agnc3 by Gulf News' YouTube channel.