Mubadala and Etisalat plan Nigerian MVNO

21 Jan 2008

UAE incumbent Etisalat, picked by the country’s Mubadala Development Company to operate its telecoms licence in Nigeria, plans to become the county’s first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and intends to enter the market by March this year, reports Balancing Act. Etisalat has reportedly already opened talks with ‘industry stakeholders’ to launch services using the established infrastructures of rival cellcos. Any such agreements will enable Etisalat to speed up its planned launch and minimise difficulties associated with site deployment. Celtel and Glo Mobile are thought to be the most likely partners for the MVNO.

An unnamed industry commentator stated off the record that though mobile operators welcome the emergence of MVNOs as a way to increase network traffic cheaply and open up new revenue streams, it may prove difficult in Nigeria where large-scale network congestion is a serious problem.