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Ring-a-ding-ding: who’s losing their grip on this teleco sibling rivalry?
Teleco round up: Etisalat says it going to do what we hoped it was doing all along and spectacular du is offering super duper deals for SMEs.
June 9, 2011 2:01 by Eva Fernandes
So it has been a while since we’ve done a teleco round up, so here we go. What is the latest in the fascinating world of UAE telecos? Well “Etisalat to focus on developing existing networks” is what The National tells us. Oh yippee, let us all shout out for joy. Etisalat “will” be focusing on developing its existing networks. You mean the current super-duper-e-Life thinga-ma-bob wasn’t good enough as it is? Hasn’t Etisalat been working tirelessly to improve the average UAE resident teleco experience?
Oh right, it has been too busy attempting to convince banks to lend it money so that it could go out and buy new shiny $12 billion toys to play with. Meanwhile, according to a survey of six analysts conducted by The National, it is predicted that du could take half of the mobile market in the UAE by the start of next year. Don’t believe ‘em? How about this, apparently in the first three months of 2011, Etisalat lost some 334,000 subscribers, while du added 272,000.
Well that is all in the past now, Etisalat’s said it is done with eyeing other telecos to swoop down on, so that is probably what they will do… only, it isn’t. Just a day after its “we are going to focus on developing our home networks” statement, Etisalat said that “If the terms of the Syrian mobile licence are changed, Etisalat will analyse the new terms.” Really? Can anyone even say these two contradicting statements simultaneously with a straight face?
On to Du! The latest with Etisalat’s younger feisty attention-grabbing Pippa-esque sibling, is of course that it has just secured a three-year loan to help repay part of its existing debt: the $220 million club financing deal sees the teleco paying annual interest of 1.45 percent over London Interbank Offered Rate.
Of course, du is also in the news for its SME friendly promotion, which sees it promising up to 70 percent lower costs for SMEs for their landlines. Yay for SMEs. But that is not it! With its special ‘Business Phone Plus’ the teleco is promising an all-day flat rate of Dh1.35 a minute to 190 international destinations.
In other news, Kuwait’s Zain has said it is considering offers to manage its network in Iraq. Though Zain won’t release more details, it’s cheekily suggested three likely candidates including Nokia Siemens Networks, Huawei Technologies and Ericsson. The lucky candidate who gets Zain’s approval will be required to improve network quality while Zain does all the fun stuff (NOT) like marketing, sales and improving customer service. Anyway, all shall be soon revealed in the next few weeks.