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Courtship—Is Etisalat’s Ramadan tactic enough to win you over?

Courtship—Is Etisalat’s Ramadan tactic enough to win you over?

Has Etisalat upped the ammo by waiving of its annual Wasel fee? And how will teleco rival du react?

August 4, 2011 3:22 by

As far as profits are concerned, telecom newcomer (well relatively new, at the very least) du has been having a splendid time. For one thing, du recently released its results for the second quarter and though the result did miss expectations, second-quarter net profit rose 51 percent. Cost of sales increased 25 percent to Dh 719.3 million, but revenues also rose 28 percent to Dh2.17 billion.

The quarterly results come just weeks after Arabic daily Emarat Al Youm released the findings of their survey which found that of the 5,000 people they surveyed, 69 percent changed their mobile operator from Etisalat to du.
Given du’s pay per second billing and some ridiculously excellent smartphone packages, maybe it isn’t such a surprise that du holds appeal to subscribers in the UAE. And though, traditionally Etisalat hasn’t stepped up its game in response to du customer-grabbing antics, this Ramadan saw an exception to the rule.

On the first day of Ramadan, Etisalat texted many of its subscribers of a: ‘special gift from Etisalat on the occasion of Ramadan.’ The special gift is the waiving of the annual Wasel fee, rendering the Wasel line for existing users free for life…or at least until 2037.
Du still has not responded to Kipp’s at the time of writing this article, and it remains to be seen just how the rival competitor will react.
So has Etisalat’s really upped their ammo? Analysts certainly think so: consider the words of one Hasan Sandila, telecommunications analyst with IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa who said: “This is surely a good news for Etisalat’s prepaid subscribers in the UAE as they do not have to pay the annual subscription charge anymore. In short, this announcement could be a strategic step to counter…

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