Etisalat, one of the telecom operators in the UAE, has launched mobile services in Nigeria, becoming the fifth operator in the oil-rich west African country, officials said on Saturday.
CEO Saoud Al Shamsi said etisalat got the $400 million (Dh1.47 billion) unified access service licence through its partners Mubadala Development Company in January 2007.
Nigerian firm Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS) entered into partnership with UAE’s Mubadala following the latter’s acquisition of the unified access licence. Etisalat acquired a 40 per cent stake in EMTS to operate the licence in Nigeria.
Hakeem Bello-Osagie, chairman of EMTS said at a ceremony on Friday that etisalat is expected to use a marketing strategy of reduced tariffs to take market share from established operators in Nigeria.
Al Shamsi added that the company has now built a network that spans the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Etisalat is one of five telecom firms, including South Africa's MTN, operating in the continent’s most populous country of 140 million people, with a combined subscriber base of around 40 million.