Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Expect Egyptian magic in Nigeria – Etisalat

The fifth Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operator, Etisalat Nigeria Limited, has sounded a note of warning to competitors as its warming up to replicate what the telco magically did in Egyptian operation by achieving over five million subscribers in one year.

Giving this assurance, Chief executive of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Saoud Al Shamsi, told newsmen at the just concluded 2008 ITU Telecom Africa held at the Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt, this has been a key reason for not being in a haste to roll out commercially.

These efforts, he said, were to sustain that kind of overwhelming subscriber-base as achieved in Egypt, accompanied with the quality of service, which Etisalat is known for throughout its operation in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

“It is because of that kind of services and quality that we have managed to do that and we do not think that our performance and accomplishment in Nigeria will be anything less,” Al Shamsi said.

He explained that in Egypt, Etisalat launched with both Second Generation (2G) and Third Generation (3G) technologies respectively and even later advanced to 3.75 G with telecom presence in most of the cities.

“Our presence and track record in Egypt is just a demonstration of our track record in quality of service. We have 2G and 3G licenses in Egypt and it tells you the kind of services that we are offering,” Al Shamsi declared.

He pointed out that although Etisalat has not began commercial operation in Nigeria, the telco has been working on the continent for a long time.

Etisalat International, he said, is the company’s business unit that operates outside the United Arab Emirate (UAE) and manages Etisalat ventures in telecommunications carriers in Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Gabon, Niger, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Pakistan among others.

“You have been to our stand and come across innovative services and ideas that we are looking forward to providing in Nigeria. Our participation in ITU Telecom Africa is to get the people better educated about our values and operations in addition to the valued services that we are offering,” he said.

Etisalat Nigeria, he said, is currently troubleshooting all the quality issues that could arise.

“We’re putting and rolling out the network in various cities of Nigeria so that we have greater coverage and we have better reach to the various ends of Nigeria,” he asserted.

Al Shamsi urged Nigerians to expect Etisalat services eventually at every end of the nation’s geographic representation and that is what the telco is presently concentrating on.

“We do not want to be motivated by early profit and launch prematurely and then face the quality of service issues. We are trying to manage all of these problems before we give the Nigerian consumer exposure to ourselves,” he said.

Stressing that with a better quality of service, which his firm is aiming at and aspires to operate in Nigeria, would be accompanied by deployment of the latest technologies that would offer the latest services with affordability and quality of service to customers.

“This is the strategy that we are utilising in every of our operation and that’s why we gained five million subscribers in 12 months operation in Egypt,” he said.

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