Etisalat warned over expansion plans

29 Sep 2006

UAE’s incumbent telco Etisalat is pursuing an aggressive policy of expansion into mobile markets in Europe, Asia and Africa in its bid to become one of the top ten operators in the world, with plans to enter 17 countries. However, global analysts BMI have warned that while entering immature markets such as Serbia, Armenia, Yemen, Syria, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan may yield dividends due to high forecasted growth rates, entry into the more established markets of Hong Kong, Russia and Greece may be unwise. Russia’s cellular market is already 86% controlled by three national operators, while the mobile penetration rate in Greece is already over 100%, and Chinese investors are likely to be given preference in Hong Kong. When the purchase of its combined 2G/3G licence in Egypt is settled, Etisalat’s total foreign investment will reach AED40 billion (USD10.9 billion).

United Arab Emirates, Etisalat UAE