i2 reveals expansion strategy

i2, which claims to be the region’s largest mobile phone distributor and retailer with more than 350 retail outlets, has revealed plans to further boost its presence in emerging markets in Africa, while consolidating its position in the Middle East.

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By  Aaron Greenwood Published  September 10, 2006

i2, which claims to be the region’s largest mobile phone distributor and retailer with more than 350 retail outlets, has revealed plans to further boost its presence in emerging markets in Africa, while consolidating its position in the Middle East. In recent times, the company has expanded its regional presence to include Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal and the Ivory Coast, and is in the process of closing several acquisitions, which it plans to reveal in the near future. “With the number of mobile subscribers worldwide predicted to reach 3.96 billion by 2011, i2 is taking the necessary steps to maintain its position as the leading mobile distributor in the region,” said i2 president Abdul Hamid Al Sunaid. “Our new business and marketing drive focuses on three main levels: new markets, strategic acquisitions, and an invigorated retail presence.” i2, which is an authorised Nokia distributor, boasts a presence in 20 countries across the Middle East and Africa. Al Sunaid described both markets as having huge commercial potential, citing research that suggested that Middle East and African cellular subscribers would number 122 million and 378 million respectively by 2011. “The number of subscribers in Africa is estimated to be one ninth of the continent’s total population of 900 million,” said Bashar AlKadhi, VP Africa - i2 Group. “We expect the number of subscribers to increase in the near future, particularly with the surge in popularity of mobile versus fixed line [services].” The Middle East also continues to be a crucial market for i2, he added, with many countries experiencing rapid growth in mobile penetration levels in recent years. “Our efforts in the Middle East will be focused on revitalising our retail presence with innovative concepts that revolve around offering consumers a unique retail experience that goes beyond the limits of selling handsets,” he said. AlKadhi said the company would launch a number of i2 stores throughout the GCC in the next few months.

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