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Tue 21 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Etisalat set to launch own branded devices

Operator will source hardware in bulk and resell it at affordable prices.

UAE incumbent Etisalat plans to start retailing its own branded mobile devices and terminals across 17 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The company is negotiating purchase contracts with international vendors and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on behalf of its many subsidiaries.

The move into branded devices - a strategy pursued by operators in ‘mature' markets as a means of increasing margins and brand loyalty - will provide "great value" for Etisalat's customers through lower priced devices and promotional bundles, the company claims.

The strategy will see Etisalat introduce its own range of telecomms devices and handsets, which will be branded especially for Etisalat and its subsidiaries. It will also negotiate volume agreements with global leaders in mobile phones and devices to maximise its purchasing power.

"Etisalat has successfully carved a position for itself within the list of the world's most influential operators through our ongoing expansion strategy. The next phase in our growth is to activate synergies - whether this is in terms of acquisitions, knowledge or in other areas," says Mohammad Hassan Omran, chairman, Etisalat.

"Our corporate strategy is based on extending the reach of all of our customers, wherever they are living or traveling. Our retail strategy will support this by providing devices and technologies at an accessible price point."

The objective of the strategy is to provide modern devices in packages to meet customers' needs and bring more added value and services to its markets at competitive prices.

This will help bring both high-end models and entry-level devices within the reach of consumers across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Etisalat was ranked the largest operator in the Arab world and one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world in the Financial Times 500 survey, earlier this year.

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