Etisalat, the UAE’s main telecom firm, has reached an agreement with Afghanistan to provide mobile phone services in the war-torn country.
Mohammad Hassan Omran, Etisalat chairman, says talks are under way with the government in Kabul to start fixed phone services.
The deal is part of a plan to become one of the top 10 global telecom operators in five years by entering Afghanistan, India, Africa and Europe.
“There have been talks with Indian telecom operators to buy stakes in some companies as part of Etisalat’s external expansion to enter global markets,” Omran says.
Etisalat is also eyeing African markets such as Libya and Algeria.
“The corporation’s competitive strategy is not based on cutting prices at the expense of quality of services but is based on offering the latest services in line with international standards,” he adds.
Etisalat is keen to offer competitive prices at both local and regional levels.
“Customer satisfaction is our key goal – and this is why we always seek to provide our customers with the best services and meet all their demands and requirements,” Omran says.
He says Etisalat is eyeing a second licence in Saudi Arabia. “Our offer is the best – and we could compete the best and giant telecom operators to win.”
If Etisalat wins the bid, it would consolidate the UAE telecom major’s position in international markets, particularly in Asia and Africa where it has a presence in 13 countries, he adds.
Etisalat is also planning to offer “innovative and unique services to Egyptians”.