" ITREALMS: Etisalat plans 1000 cell-sites expansion, gets facility


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Monday, March 14, 2011

Etisalat plans 1000 cell-sites expansion, gets facility

Plans have been advanced for the innovative mobile operator, Etisalat Nigeria, to have a build-out for over 1,000 cell sites for expansion of its networks across the country.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans made this disclosure at the weekend in Lagos, during the $650 million , about N100,704,475,983.64 syndicated facility for the mobile operator by some eight banks.

Some of the consortium includes First Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank, Access Bank, Fidelity, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Bank PHB and Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB).

“We hope to use this for expansion and building of over 1000k cell sites,” he declared.

Mr. Evans also said that facility would afford Etisalat to build this projected cell-sites over the next five years, noting though that the facility is for seven years.

According to him, the facility has been supported entirely by Nigerian banks, describing it as the largest facility from Nigerian financial institutions this year.

Evans said that the facility would allow Etisalat to upgrade its network from Second Generation (2G) to Third Generation (3G), which was recently bought-over from Alheri Engineering by the mobile operator.

He disclosed that the parent company of Etisalat, Mubadala has provided $2 billion for this project as additional fund, describing it as an endorsement to the current leadership of Etisalat Nigeria.

“This shows the confidence they (Mubadala) have on the management of Etisalat Nigeria,” he said.

He pointed out that it would offer Etisalat the opportunity to aggressively intensify network expansion across the country and offer even better quality service to its over 7 million subscribers.

He highlighted that the transaction was a testament to the banking syndicate’s belief in Etisalat business plan and confidence in the future of mobile operator.

“It was a real pleasure working with such a professional group of bankers along with their legal advisor Banwo & Ighodalo. It also gave me great pleasure to see a Nigerian-registered business, which is expanding rapidly in Nigeria, being wholly funded in this facility by Nigerian banks. I was also very pleased with the constant support of our advisors Citi, Aelex and Norton Rose,” he said.

Maguire added that the Etisalat Group, Mubadala and Myacynth devoted several resources in place to make the transaction possible.

ITRealms Online recalls that Etisalat Nigeria is owned by the Emerging Marketing Telecom Services (EMTS) in partnership with Etisalat, the leading mobile operator in the Middle East.

This is in addition of EMTS having Mubadala, the sovereign wealth fund of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Myacynth, representing Nigerian nationals as major shareholders.

Etisalat Nigeria was launched in 2008 and current prides itself with 7 million subscribers.

Remmy Nweke:
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