The UAE’s second telecoms operator has officially named Osman Sultan as its CEO. In November, CommsMEA identified Sultan, previously CEO at Orascom’s MobiNil operations in Egypt, as the CEO-designate of the UAE’s second operator, but up till now no official statement had been made.
Sultan, who is also chairman of the Arab Working Group for the private sector in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), is optimistic about the opportunities for the new operator, called Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company (EITC).
“Nowhere else in the world has a second telecoms operator entered a market with such high levels of penetration. But, for the first time in this country customers will have a choice. We are ready for this exciting challenge,” Sultan says.
The EITC board has also been confirmed. Ahmad Bin Byat, director general of Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone, is chairman of the company. Bin Byat will sit on the seven-member EITC board alongside Khaled Al Bustani, Saad Abdulrazak, Saeed Al Yateem, Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Jassim Al Zaabi and Saud Ba’always.
EITC is due to launch services, starting with mobile, in the second half of 2006. It has a paid up capital of US$1.1 billion with 50% ownership in the hands of the UAE government. The remaining 50% is split equally between Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company and Emirates Communications Technology Company.
Before the launch of services, shareholders intend to offer 20% of their shares in an IPO. Emirates Bank and Emirates Financial services are set to manage the share sale.
“EITC is a purely local company and will not have any foreign operator as a partner,” says Bin Byat.