Telcos call time on the recession
The UAE has more cellphone lines per person than anywhere else on Earth. No wonder the two phone operators have engaging plans for the future.
February 24, 2010 6:32 by Ben Flanagan
He said that du saw one million new mobile subscribers in 2009, bring the number of ‘active’ subscriptions to nearly 3.5 million, in what was “an upward trend across all revenue segments”.
Sultan said du has set aside $600 million to boost its network in 2010, and that it plans to roll out its fixed-line services across the UAE: “This will happen though an infrastructure-sharing agreement with the other operator [Etisalat],” he said.
“Now we are a significant player in the telecoms market,” said Sultan. “[In 2010] we will continue the growth in profits… we will continue the growth in revenues.”
However, Sultan ruled out plans to launch operations outside the UAE. “We do not have any intention to go outside the UAE. It will not bring any benefits to the shareholders of du… at the present time.”
This strategy is in stark contrast to that of rival Etisalat, which told Al Arabiya TV this week that it has cash reserves of about AED10 billion to launch a major overseas expansion drive in 2010.
Etisalat says it is close to buying a majority stake in Iraq’s Korek Telecom in a bid to double its revenues from overseas operations in three years. The company says there are six markets in the Middle East and North Africa – including Algeria and Libya – that it is investigating for acquisitions or new licenses.
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