Du no competition - Etisalat

Etisalat CEO Mohamed Khalfan Al Qamzi says newly-established UAE operator Du yet to become market rival.

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By  Amy Glass Published  January 13, 2008

Etisalat CEO Mohamed Khalfan Al Qamzi has dismissed the presence of new mobile operator Du, saying the company is yet to become a market rival.

In an interview with UAE daily Emirates Business 24/7 published on Saturday, Al Qamzi said Etisalat’s growth has not been affected by the introduction of Du.

“Until now I have not seen any competition from the new operator, which is still in the establishment phase. It has not reached the position where it can be a rival,” he told the newspaper.

Al Qamzi said instead of being affected negatively by the introduction of a new operator, Etisalat had achieved higher growth rates than last year with approximately one million new subscribers to its mobile phone services.

“Our total number of subscribers is 6.3 million. This means the rate of penetration of mobile phones on Etisalat’s network has reached 150%, the highest in the world," he said.

"We have 1.32 million fixed lines, while the users of internet services are more than two million, with a 60% penetration, which is the highest in the Middle East.”

Etisalat’s net profit in the first nine months of 2007 amounted to $1.5 billion, but Al Qamzi said the company’s massive growth rate could not continue forever.

“The UAE market is almost saturated, but there is still some growth opportunity of about 10% a year because of the economic and construction boom in the country," he said.

"However, the growth rate will not continue forever, especially since mobile phone service alone has exceeded 150% penetration. We will reach a saturation point."

Al Qamzi said allegations that Etisalat has become used to its market monopoly, and was only forced to offer increased customer care after the emergence of Du were unfair.

“It is not true. We have to be fair here. Maybe you remember when Etisalat started its GSM service 12 years ago, the prices were high compared with now. We have voluntarily reduced the prices more than once and before the emergence of the new operator. Also, international calls now cost less.”

4147 days ago

Will be good to see if Etisalat will have same comments two years from now. DU is a new player with very aggresive sales and service strategy. Etisalat denial of DU being a competitor is a proof that it is disconnected from the general users needs.

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