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Etisalat sets high targets in Egypt

The UAE telecoms provider sets its sights on taking almost a third of the Egyptian mobile market.

UAE telecoms service provider Etisalat has set its sights on taking almost a third of the Egyptian mobile market within three years of its launch, it said last week.

The firm, which kicked off its Egyptian mobile operations at the start of this month, said it is targeting 10 million subscribers in Egypt by 2010, which it claimed would give it a 30% market share.

In a statement, Etisalat chairman Mohammad Hassan Omran said the company was counting on a combination of high economic growth and low mobile penetration to help it achieve this goal. Omran described Egypt as "a huge market", with a population of 70 million, but said mobile penetration was still below 20%.

"This presents tremendous potential and we expect mobile penetration to go up to 50% over the three to five years," he stated. "The low penetration and strong economic growth will help us to achieve our aim of winning at least 30% market share in three to five years."

The firm, which will compete with Mobinil and Vodafone in the market, launched its mobile operations on May 1 under the Etisalat Misr brand.

Etisalat Misr is the first operator to have a 3.5G network. The firm also claims to be the first to offer mobile television, high-speed internet access and video calling in Egypt.

Etisalat bought the third Egypt GSM licence for almost US$3 billion back in July last year.

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