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Etisalat enters network sharing deal in India

UAE incumbent to outsource its Indian network operations to Reliance Communications

Joint venture, Network sharing, Telecoms, Agreement, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation

Etisalat said it expects to accelerate the roll out of its joint venture in India after entering a $2.2 billion network sharing agreement with Indian telecoms giant Reliance Communications.

The agreement, which is for a period of 10 years, covers all 15 regions that Etisalat is licenced to operate in, including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala, and Mumbai.

Under the terms of the agreement, Etisalat’s joint venture, known as Etisalat DB will outsource its network operations, including tower and transmission infrastructure, to Reliance Infratel and Reliance Communications.

Mohammad Hassan Omran, chairman Etisalat, said the deal will help the company to save time and money in the deployment of its network.

“This significant development is part of our overall commitment to provide consumers with quality service and reach at the time of launch,” he said. “As a new entrant in this dynamic market, this alliance provides us with key, strategic advantages that will ensure a robust, speedy and cost-effective roll-out of services."

He added that “strategic alliances” are a key part of Etisalat’s business plan in India and that the company would consider more network sharing deals in future.

Etisalat announced that it had been awarded a licence to operate mobile voice and data services in India in June. The company gained entry into the Indian market in 2008 when it acquired a 45% stake in Swan Telecom.