Etisalat and Du argue over best approach

14 December 2010

Digital media future of telecoms according to Du

Revenues from Etisalat’s subsidiaries outside the UAE will rise to around 30 per cent within the next five years according to chief strategy officer Ali Ahmed. Currently these 17 units make up 15-20 per cent of the group’s total revenue.

The telecoms operator is planning to strengthen its revenues through mergers and acquisitions in light of the rising saturation levels and decreasing voice revenues.

The UAE’s two operators are approaching the challenge in different ways. While Etisalat has been expanding outside its home market Du is planning to grow through digital media.

Speaking at the Media and Marketing exhibition in Dubai Du’s chairman Usman Sultan says the company is foregoing traditional methods of expansion and focusing on value added services and the internet. “The way telecoms is being used by the new generation is something we have never envisaged. The demand for services has been unprecedented.”

Du recently launched Anayou an online platform for social networking, gaming and entertainment.

“Telecoms firms are finding it difficult to monetise the digital space and mobile applications, but there is a huge demand for data. We have to be in this digital world and cannot afford to miss out,” says Sultan

Ahmed says: “We will use content like Facebook and Twitter as promotional services and we have no plans to create our own content but there should be an intertwining relationship between the telecoms companies and the media.”

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