Etisalat Remains Positive and is Reaching beyond the Economic Crisis at Mobile World Congress 2010 2010/02/18

Barcelona February 18, 2010: Etisalat’s chairman Mohammad Omran affirmed that telecommunication sector has many positive aspects to look out for in 2010 and beyond. In a session titled Strategies for Growth: Mergers and Acquisitions at The Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona, Omran highlighted that technology is continuously changing day-to-day due, primarily, to consumers’ needs of voice and data services and new innovations which open new possibilities.

Omran highlighted Etisalat’s role and experience in providing the latest technology which helps drive economic growth in the future. The UAE is ranked in the top 10 amongst all nations in terms of technology availability and government readiness to adopt ICT solutions quoting the WEF annual Global IT Report 2008-09 and Global Competitiveness Report 2009-10.

Reiterating Etisalat’s commitment to developing telecom markets where it operates Omran said
"We do not acquire licenses in markets with the aim of selling these operations in a few years time. Instead, we actively invest in new technologies and infrastructure to derive incremental gains over the life of our license for investors and customers alike."

Etisalat is currently participating or investigating opportunities across North Africa and the Middle East. Omran indicated six possible markets which would involve both the acquisition of green-field licenses within markets with low penetration levels and industry consolidation stressing that size and scale are extremely important for to avoid small operators being marginalized. "Etisalat is in an excellent position - financially and operationally to capitalize on these opportunities," Omran added.

Etisalat is committed to investing in new technologies across the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Broadband and fiber-optic fixed-line infrastructure is a clear example of such an investment. Etisalat has deployed fiber-optic networks in Sudan and also in the UAE to great effect and will shortly begin offering GPON connectivity to the home with a capacity of 10Gbps shared between 32 residences -a 400% increase to what is currently on offer today.

Etisalat also announced that it has started the commercial trial of LTE, an important step towards 4G. The expected date for launching LTE services in UAE is by the end of 2010. Later in the first half of this year, Etisalat will be introducing new technology which will enable downloads of up to 42mbps, which will grow to 84mbps by end of year.

In conclusion Mohammad Omran highlighted Etisalat’s commitment to environmental initiatives. "Etisalat has successfully combined the welfare of the environment and advanced technology by investing in fiber optic networks can enhance the energy efficiency of our networks and reduce our carbon emissions. We are also implementing ‘green building’ policies to reduce operating costs."

For further information please visit www.etisalat.ae.

Ends

For more information on please contact Iyad Al Zou’bi,
Senior Manager, International Media Relations – Etisalat 
Tel 0097126182622 ,  Mobile 00971506123568 ,
Email : ialzoubi@eitsalat.ae