UAE-based telecoms operator Etisalat has said it plans to increase its current 2.6 million mobile subscriber base in Nigeria to four million this year, Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust reports. According to Etisalat Nigeria’s CEO, Steven Evans, the company plans to achieve this through the investment of around USD700 million aimed at expanding its wireless network, compared to the approximately USD800 million spent last year. Etisalat will rent infrastructure from telecoms companies rather than spending the money on constructing new networks. Evans added that the global economic slowdown has affected the telecoms business in Nigeria, but Etisalat remains hopeful that the industry will pick up by 2011, by which time the company is expected to break even. In order to boost its customer base, Etisalat is targeting users of other network operators by focusing on high network quality, the provision of robust products, competitive prices and good customer service. At present, Etisalat is operational in all of the country’s states and its network covers 40% of the population.