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Sun 13 Nov 2005 04:00 AM

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MTC Group looking to rebrand

The pan-Middle East mobile operator is considering an overall change to its brand, which may eventually spread to it Celtel operation across Africa.

Middle East mobile operator MTC Group is considering a major rebranding strategy in the next 6-9 months, according to its head of mergers and acquisitions, Salah Al Fouzan. “The MTC brand will be changed in a year’s time. We are undergoing initiatives to see the validity of changing the brand,” says Al Fouzan, confirming that the change will cover the entire MTC brand.

While he said that nothing was decided yet, Al Fouzan thought a new-look MTC would suit the new direction of the Kuwait-based mobile operator, which now covers 18 markets across the Middle East and Africa.

“MTC started in 1983 as Mobile Telecom Company. We still use the same name although our strategy over the years has changed dramatically. We cope with these changes it would make sense to rebrand,” he says. “If it’s going to happen it will be in 6-9 months.”

MTC took control of pan-African operator Celtel in March for US$3.4 billion, adding 13 countries to the five it controls across the Middle East. While Celtel is running under is own brand for the time being, Al Fouzan says that it will eventually become part of the new MTC image. “For two years at least they will remain separate,” he said, but thought after this it would change. “We seek to be global by 2010 and to be a global operator that means not only expanding your footprint, but having a recognisable brand and unified services across all the operations, and we cannot achieve this without a singular brand.”

Al Fouzan says that MTC is currently looking at opportunities in the Far East. “Nothing concrete, we are looking at the markets in general.”

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