Etisalat and Nokia ink key agreement

Operator says deal will help strengthen brand equity in the region.

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By  Roger Field Published  October 23, 2008

Etisalat and Nokia have signed an agreement to supply Nokia handsets to Etisalat subsidiaries throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa, strengthening an earlier partnership forged by the two companies.

The new agreement will benefit both companies by combining Nokia's brand leadership and mobile distribution network with Etisalat's telecom and connectivity capabilities across the region.

Nokia's products will be supplied to Etisalat via the established Nokia authorised distributors in each country where Etisalat has operations.

"This partnership will certainly go a long way in not only strengthening our individual brand equity in the Middle East markets, but also in providing significant value to our customers who can now benefit from this association," says Mohammad Hassan Omran, chairman, Etisalat.

Tomi Paatsila, vice president, operator business, for Nokia in India, Middle East and Africa, adds that the agreement comes as an extension to the two companies' longstanding relationship. "As the number one mobile manufacturer in the world, Nokia's brand leadership and strong existing network of authorized distributors in the Middle East and Africa will provide valuable support for Etisalat's growth plans," he says.

The agreement follows closely from Etisalat's announcement that it also plans to start selling its own brand of mobile devices.

Earlier this year Etisalat was ranked as the 14th largest operators in the world and the largest in the Arab world by the Financial Times. It was later ranked the fastest growing mobile operator in the world in a second study from the Informa Group. Combined the Etisalat family of operators today services 74 million subscribers out of a total population of 1,600mn.

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