Etisalat woos SMEs with broadband price cuts

The internet arm of Etisalat, eCompany, today rolled out price cuts and wide-ranging service enhancements for its BusinessOne internet service, as part of its drive to increase broadband penetration amongst small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  February 5, 2006

The internet arm of Etisalat, eCompany, today rolled out price cuts and wide-ranging service enhancements for its BusinessOne internet service, as part of its drive to increase broadband penetration amongst small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE. eCompany’s senior manager, Abdulla Hashim, explained that of the 110,000 small and medium sized businesses in the UAE, just under 11,000 of these were registered BusinessOne customers at the end of 2005. eCompany is now aiming to increase this figure to 13,780 by the end of 2006; a proposed increase of 25%. As part of the service improvements launched today, all existing BusinessOne customers are seeing their current broadband internet packages upgraded to the next, higher level solution with immediate effect (identical in fact to the upgrade deal given to eCompany’s Al Shamil consumer customers back in September 2005). Both new and existing BusinessOne customers are also benefitting from reduced monthly rentals (chopped by up to 35%), increased data usage caps, more web hosting space, larger e-mail storage capacities of up to 40Gbytes and ramped up security protection. For example, BusinessOne customers who currently subscribe to a single- or multi-user 384Kbits/s broadband package have been upgraded to a 512Kbits/s package. 512Kbits/s users meanwhile have, from today, been upgraded to 1Mbyte connection speeds and so on. As was the case in September with Al Shamil in the UAE, the prices of each BusinessOne package have also been cut, meaning a single user 512Kbits/s package for instance now costs AED 295, rather than AED 350. At the high-end, eCompany’s 2Mbyte solution has been reduced from AED 1995 to AED 1295. Aside from connection speeds and package prices, data volume caps have also been extended, meaning 512Kbits/s single users for instance now have 4Gbytes of data space, compared to the previous 2Gbytes. Users also have more e-mail and web storage space than ever before, with the same single 512Kbits/s customer now receiving 50Mbytes of e-mail storage, compared to the previous 5Mbytes, and 100Mbytes of web storage capacity, rather than 20Mbytes. It’s on the security front however where eCompany has made arguably the biggest real change, offering every single BusinessOne customer Norton Internet Security licenses in order to help them protect themselves and their businesses against internet-borne threats such as viruses and Trojans. As an example, a 512Kbits/s single user receives one such license, while 2Mbyte multi-user customers receive up to ten such security keys. “Broadband is a key area of focus for the corporation and this latest announcement is a key element in our strategy to make eCompany the first choice for internet services and e-business solutions in the region,” said Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfat, general manager of eCompany. “ “The launch of these new packages is part of our continuing drive to help our business customers truly harness the power of broadband in terms of using communication tools such as the web and e-mail, while providing them with opportunities to use more sophisticated web-based tools, collaborate with partners and improve their operations,” added eCompany’s senior manager, Abdulla Hashim.

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