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Etisalat to Spend More Than $4 Billion on UAE Infrastructure

UAE : 17 May 2011

Etisalat, a major telecom operator in the UAE, is investing up to $817 million or Dh 3 billion on infrastructure each year for the next five years, according to recent comments by the firm’s acting CEO.

Emirates Telecommunication Corp stated that spending on technology will include the network 2G, as well as 3G and 4G, mobile towers and IT.

There will be around two or three billion dirhams spent annually on the UAE network for possibly five years, stated Etisalat’s acting chief executive officer Nasser Bin Obood at a recent Abu Dhabi conference.

The CEO noted that the firm’s cash reserves will allow for these levels of spending and that funding options will not be necessary.

Obood also noted that Etisalat will be looking into an agreement with du, their competition, regarding a shared infrastructure. This agreement may be in the works by the year’s end.

Half of the earnings from Etisalat are remitted to the government in royalties and the CEO stated that discussions surrounding this have been under way for a time.

There is pressure, noted Obood, but the issue is being examined and the company is confident that stakeholders and government officials can draw up a reasonable solution together.

March saw the telecom’s plans for a Syrian mobile license bid were scrapped, the terms of which Etsialat discovered would not be of value to company shareholders. The takeover of Zain in Kuwait was also put aside. That deal was worth $12 billion.

In the UAE Etisalat recorded 7.43 million mobile subscriptions, 0.49 million Internet customers and 1.13 million fixed or land line subscribers at the close of March.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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