Etisalat unveils fifth mobile phone network in Nigeria

Telecoms

Etisalat unveiled its new network last week, making it Nigeria's fifth mobile phone operator. Hakeem Bello-Osagie, chairman of Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services, or EMTS, owners of the license operated by Etisalat, said at the ceremony last Friday that Etisalat is expected to use a marketing strategy of reduced tariffs to take market share from established operators in Nigeria. Other operators are likely to follow suit, bringing the overall level of tariffs down.

EMTS, a Nigerian firm, entered into partnership with Mubadala Development Co. of the United Arab Emirates following Mubadala`s acquisition of a Unified Access License that includes a mobile phone license from the Nigerian government in January 2007 for $400 million. Etisalat has acquired a 40% stake in EMTS and operates the license in Nigeria.

Saoud Al Shamsi, Etisalat`s chief executive officer, said the company has built a network that spans the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Nigeria has more than 40 million mobile phone subscribers. Operators include MTN, Globacom, Celtel and Visafone.

Dow Jones Newswires