At this 2010’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mohammed Omran, chairman of Etisalat , was one of the mobile industry’s most confident leaders, and he has just reason.
He used the event to announce that the UAE government-owned operator had passed the 100 million subscriber mark and was planning a massive expansion plan.
Omran is to use some of the telecom giant’s 2009 profits of $2.4bn to invest in 4G technology in the UAE, the next wave of high performance mobile communication.
He also announced that he is to use its massive cash reserves of $2.7bn to buy a majority stake in Iraq’s Korek Telecom, to bid for a 3G radio spectrum licence in India and to expand into six new markets, including Algeria and Libya.
Set up in 1976, the days when Etisalat was simply a government-owned monopoly are well and truly behind it and Omran has ambitions to double the company’s overseas revenue within the next three years.
If you are a telecoms user in the MENA region then it is likely that you will be familiar with the Etisalat brand. But if you are not then it is likely that in next few years you will be, if Mohammad Omran has anything to do with it.