EITC ready to take on Etisalat

Declaring that it is ready for competition with Etisalat, Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company (EITC, UAE's second telecommunications operator) has announced that it will launch mobile phone services in the second half of this year, and will aim for 30% market share within three years.

EITC chairman Ahmad bin Byat, who has just unveiled its new brand "du," is expressing great confidence that his organisation will end the decades of monopoly enjoyed by Etisalat, even though the latter is well-known and enjoys an already high penetration of the UAE market. 

"We look forward to elevating the level of products and services provided to the consumers who, for the first time, have a choice," declared Mr bin Byat, who intends to rebrand all EITC products and services under the 'du' brand. "This new era will witness major developments in products and services that will benefit customers, spur growth and promote development of the local economy in general...We are confident of our ability to face the challenges. We are committed to make "du" live up to its name by providing truly integrated communications solutions that include voice, data, and video content over fixed and mobile networks to individuals and corporations alike."

 EITC's Dh2.4 billion initial public offering (20% or 800 million shares) is open to nationals only, starting on March 4. The country's secondary market is open to non-nationals, who will pay Dh3 per share. The new company has been further strengthened by the purchase of the telecoms section of TECOM Investments, costing Dh1.2 billion but bringing in 500 staff. 

Ahmad bin Byat believes he has further cause for confidence as EITC's plans coincide with a local economic boom, with the UAE's positioning herself as an international business, commerce, tourism and services hub, and also when consumer demands and ambitions are rising to unprecedented levels. 

* EITC, incorporated in December 2005 with a fully paid up capital of Dh4 billion, has the Federal Government, Mubadala Development Company PJSC and Emirates Communications and Technology Company owning 50%, 25%, and 25% respectively, as its founding shareholders.

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