The cellular subscriber base of Etisalat Nigeria, the local unit of United Arab Emirates telecoms operator Etisalat, hit 15 million in early January, just over four years after the cellco launched commercial services, The Guardian newspaper cites CEO Steven Evans as saying. The figure is up by around four million from the 10.75 million customers recorded at the end of December 2011. Commenting on the achievement, Evans said: ‘We have shown an innate ability to turn challenges into opportunities. With this mindset and our focus on quality, innovation and the customer, we have been able to listen, attract, reward, retain and expand our customer base over the last twelve months. Our success now and in the future will continue to rely on executing on this strategy.’ Earlier this month Etisalat Nigeria, which launched commercial mobile services in November 2008, signed an agreement with Alcatel-Lucent, under which the equipment vendor will roll out a further 1,000 base stations in 2013. The agreement forms the sixth phase of Etisalat’s network expansion and modernisation project with Alcatel-Lucent, and covers Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Kogi and Delta states.