Curiosity was aroused over a week through a series of mysterious advertisements in the media over the new telco brand etisalat which was unveiled in Colombo last week. Etisalat the largest telecom operator in the United Arab Emirate took over Tigo the first cellular telephone operator in Sri Lanka.
“Our corporate strategy targets to cover geographical areas where there are cultural similarities, links and relations between the people”, said the Group General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of etisalat Isam Akrat.
We are in the Middle East and we have a close relationship historically with the African continent. Similarly we have a strong relationship with Asia through trade, cultural links, migration of people, travel and tourism.
There are hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan workers in the Middle East. Tourism is growing between the regions and therefore our presence here is important though the market is small, he said
etisalat will not compete on price but on quality of the service. Slashing price has a limit and any company cannot cut rates below the cost. Our objective is to give value for money. There should be a healthy competition in the market with several operators, Akrat said.
The CEO of etisalat Sri Lanka Dumindra Rathnayake said that the new company will bring in a huge investment to Sri Lanka. etisalat coverage will steadily expand to all parts of the country including the North and the East. With the immediate commencement of an impressive roll out etisalat intends to expand its current network in Sri Lanka with a coverage expansion to 1500 2G sites and 500 3G sites this year. Now, with a well resourced international parent, we will take Sri Lanka’s operations to the highest level, he said.
The expertise and specialised proficiency of the Tigo team will permeate etisalat Lanka as the management team and employee force will remain unchanged. Entry of etisalat into the Sri Lankan market spells optimism and hope for the consumer, country and industry.
The strength and regional synergy of etisalat Lanka ensures a strong traction of superior products and services, especially on an international sphere, including IDD and Roaming, Rathnayake said.
etisalat stands 140th among Financial Times top 500 corporations in the world and is ranked as the 6th largest company in the Middle East according to a Middle East business magazine. It has a coverage in 18 countries with over 100 million subscribers.
etisalat offers a range of services such as voice, data applications, WAP, GPRS, 3G, MMS, Push To Talk and Blackberry.
Fixed line network also benefit from services such as ATM, Frame Relay, VSAT and ISDN. etisalat will bring these services to the local market and revolutionise the local telecom industry, Rathnayake said.