Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Etisalat plans roll out in April with 0809

Fifth Global System for Mobile communications licensee, the Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS) operating as Etisalat has advanced plans to roll out next month, April on 0809 prefix.

This follows the endorsement of the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) last Thursday as the operator made its first official call on the network.

Champion Infotel recalls that over a year ago, and precisely on January 2007, the United Arab Emirate firm, Mubadala Development Company in conjunction with EMTS paid $400 million, about N516 million to acquire the Unified Access License, which offers the telco a mobile license and spectrum in the GSM 1800 and 900 Mega Hertz (MHz).

Speaking at the media launch of Etisalat Nigeria at the weekend, its Chief Executive, Mr. Saoud Al Shamsi said that considering the pedigree of the telco in managing over 600 million subscribers services in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Etisalat is one of the largest companies with base in the Middle East.

According to him, with presence in 15 countries, 10 of this in Africa proves that Etisalat has succeeded in building a network that spans MEA and Asia.

He also said that Etisalat would not be in any haste to roll out in order to ensure a world class quality of service to Nigerian subscribers, adding that the telco presence in the regions like Afghanistan, Sudan and the Central Africa Republic was a demonstration of its strategies and capacity to thrive in difficult and challenging terrains.

“Our brand is distinguished for its innovativeness and reliability,” he asserted, stressing that Etisalat has pioneered operations in various developing markets, emphasising that they are ready for the Nigerian market, especially as the telco intend to deploy considerable experience in serving subscribers in this part of the world.

Earlier while welcoming guest at the occasion, chairman, EMTS, Mr. Hakeem Bello-Osagie, noted that communications remain a powerful lifeline for integrating a fragmented economy, creating a market, raising productivity and breaking down the geographical barriers that keep people in both economic and physical isolation.

Therefore, he expressed no regrets for making up what he missed out in 2001 when the first batch of GSM auction was made in the country through EMTS gotten of Unified Access License.

He further explained that Etisalat has acquired a 40 per cent stake in EMTS to manage the network, EMTS and Mubadala now has 30 per cent apiece.

He was optimistic that Etisalat unique tracks would be replicated in Nigeria with commitment to quality and performance.

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