etisalat by e& has launched what it calls the world’s first autonomous telecom store that is powered by artificial intelligence (AI). The company unveiled the store at the world’s largest technology event, Gitex Global, which began on Monday.
Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, chief executive officer of the telecom arm of e&, said ‘EASE’ is a self-service store in Dubai at Al Kifaf.
The store features an interactive robot that answers queries. Customers can check out products like mobile devices and accessories, and prepaid and postpaid plans, and buy them by paying at kiosks.
“(It) leverages on our expertise and technological capabilities to align with future customer needs to offer a unique shopping experience. With access to all consumer products and services including mobile devices and accessories at their fingertips, the fully automated store incorporates cutting-edge technologies such as AI, machine learning, sensors, smart gates, digital touch points, and autonomous device and trade-in machines. These technologies work together to provide our customers with a seamless shopping journey,” said Mahmood. “With the launch of the ‘EASE’ store, we proudly become the world’s first telecom company to offer such a distinctive customer experience.”
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He said autonomous technologies have been present at the Etisalat stand every year, “taking visitors on a shopping journey of the future”.
“The various showcases have been about convenience, accessibility, personalisation, efficiency and finally a sustainable shopping experience.”
The 5G revolution
Mahmood highlighted how the UAE network ranked fastest globally when it comes to 5G. The fifth-generation mobile network “covered more than 98.74 per cent populated areas in the country”.
“In data transfer, speeds touched 10 gigabits per second within the 6 gigahertz frequency range,” added Mahmood.
The company recently achieved a “global industry milestone” with the successful pilot deployment of mmWave over 10km. This lays the foundation for commercial 5G private networks.
“The implementation of 5G mmWave (FR2 only) network capability was steered as part of etisalat by e&’s vision to deliver state of art technologies to the society. This is considered a global first 5G deployment on mmWave @ 26Ghz … over 10km with high speeds. The step aimed at addressing the demand of consumers and enterprises to have a solution following the highest standards of data security and digitalisation over mobile network that’s also capable to deliver large amounts of data reliably and securely,” said Mahmood.
“The solution demonstrates the ability of 5G networks to enable uplink heavy video and real-time data transfer scenarios over a specific geographical area, effectively paving the way toward the digital transformation of industries operating over vast areas.”
He added that with 5G, consumers expect technology to enhance every moment of their lives. “We have just done with that by making sure we have enriched our services to meet these varying demands of changing lifestyles. The smart living service today is first of a kind in the region that has integrated the latest smart home devices by partnering with Amazon. The introduction of GPT chatbot in GoChat … has revolutionised the way customers can stay in touch with their loved ones.”
Since 2016, the UAE has held “global leadership” for the widest FTTH (Fibre to the Home) network at 99.85 per cent and also one of the fastest mobile networks in the world, he added.