Etisalat is a UAE Government telecommunications services provider. It is the main ISP all over UAE Including Dubai ABu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah Fujairah Al Ain and Sharjah. Etisalat is also the registrar for .ae Domains. They offer a Business DSL service that includes the web hosting with it. Additional they offer web hosting and domains for .ae and .ae Arabic Domains.
Etisalat has many investments in other countries. They are involved in mega telecommunication projects in the world. They currently operating in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. As of November 2009, Etisalat is the 13th largest mobile network operator in the world, with a total customer base of 100 million. On January 31, 2010, Etisalat reported net revenue of USD $8.4 billion (AED 30.831 billion) and net profits of USD $2.407 billion (AED 8.836 billion).
Etisalat is also one of the Internet hubs in the Middle East (AS8966), providing connectivity to other telecommunications operators in the region. It is also the largest carrier of international voice traffic in the Middle East and Africa and the 12th largest voice carrier in the world. As of October 2008, Etisalat has 510 roaming agreements covering 186 countries and enabling BlackBerry, 3G, GPRS and voice roaming. Etisalat operates Points of Presence (PoP) in New York, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Singapore.
History of Eisalat
Emirates Telecommunication Corporation – Etisalat was founded in 1976 as a joint-stock company between International Aeradio Limited, a British Company, and local partners. In 1983 the ownership structure changed – United Arab Emirates government held a 60% share in the company and the remaining 40% were publicly traded.
In 1991 the UAE central government issued Federal Law No. 1, which gave the corporation the right to provide the telecommunications wired and wireless services in the country and between UAE and other countries. It also gave the firm the right to issue licenses for owning, importing, manufacturing, using or operating telecommunication equipment. This practically gave Etisalat both regulatory and control powers, which completed the monopoly of the telecom giant in the UAE. In order to safeguard the country’s economic development, the law made provisions for the development of the telecommunication sector in the country.
The increase of exchange lines from 36,000 in 1976 to more than 737,000 in 1998 was one of the important indicators of Etisalat network’s growth and development. The company witnessed profit growth rates of 80%.
Today Etisalat stands 140th among the Financial Times Top 500 Corporations in the world in terms of market capitalization, and is ranked by The Middle East magazine as the 6th largest company in the Middle East in terms of capitalization and revenues. The Corporation is the largest contributor outside the oil sector to development programmes of the UAE Federal Government.
Etisalat has also won accolades from across the region for its nationalization programme.
Etisalat’s Business Units
In addition to its telecommunication services and carrier unit, Etisalat incorporates multiple business units (under the umbrella of Etisalat Services Holding LLC) that support the telecom’s operations and offer services to other operators and organizations, namely: training and consultancy services (Etisalat Academy), SIM/smart card manufacturing and payment solutions (Ebtikar), data clearing house services (EDCH), peering/voice and data transit (Emirates Internet Exchange – EMIX), call center (The Contact Centre),cable TV (eVision), as well as submarine cable laying services (eMarine).
Etisalat is also a major investor in Thuraya, the satellite geo-mobile communication systems provider.
In 2006 Etisalat started a major restructuring program that resulted in the de-merger of many of its non-core business units that were operating under a centralized and direct management; core services were consolidated and streamlined, reflecting the company’s shift from a technology-driven telecom to a customer-focused services provider. As part of the program, Etisalat has launched a re-branding campaign, releasing a new corporate logo and identity in May 2006. The restructuring culminated in the incorporation of Etisalat Services Holding LLC, which as of 2008 oversees the operation of Etisalat’s non-telecom business units with huge success stories .
Etisalat International Investments
Etisalat International Investments is the business unit of Etisalat that operates outside the UAE and manages the corporation’s stakes in telecommunications carriers in Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Iran, the Ivory Coast, Egypt, Niger, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
The International Investments unit also manages Etisalat’s minor stakes in other telecommunications services providers, such as Sudatel (a mobile, fixed and Internet services provider in Sudan), and Qtel (Qatar-based telecommunications services provider).
Mobily – Saudi Arabia
One of Etisalat’s first international investments was the bid to become the second mobile services operator in Saudi Arabia. Etihad Etisalat, a consortium led by Etisalat, has won the 2G GSM license by offering USD $3.25 billion. Currently operating under the brand name Mobily, Etihad Etisalat offers Saudi Arabia subscribers conventional and 3.5G mobile telephony services, and has floated shares on the Saudi stock market.
PTCL – Pakistan
Among the acquisitions of Etisalat in 2005 was a 26% management stake in Pakistan Telecommunications (PTCL) that was put on sale by the Government of Pakistan as part of a large privatization initiative. In order to outbid competitors (which included Singapore Telecommunications and China Mobile), Etisalat offered USD $2.56 billion for the stake. According to some analysts, the telecom has overpaid, as the bid went far beyond the estimated USD $2 billion value of the package.
In July 2006, a consortium led by Etisalat has been granted the rights to develop Egypt’s third mobile network, with a winning bid of 16.7 billion Egyptian pounds (EUR €2.29 billion euro). The new venture, Etisalat Egypt, will compete with existing service providers Vodafone and Mobinil. On September 12, 2006, it was announced that the network will be built by Ericsson of Sweden, and Huawei of China, at a cost of approximately USD $1.2 billion.
In 2007, at the Comms MEA Awards ceremony Etisalat was presented with the ‘Best New Entrant’ award for its Egyptian operations. Award winners were selected by a panel of experts from KPMG, the Arab Advisors Group and Oliver Wyman, Dubai.
Canar – Sudan
Etisalat is one of the founding partner companies of Canar Telecom, a fixed-line telecom services operator. In September 2007 Etisalat has raised its stake in Canar from 37% to 82% at an estimated cost of AED 584.17 million (USD $159 million).
Canar was launched on November 27, 2005. The operator is reported to use NGN and Wireless Local Loop (WLL) technologies for its voice, data, internet and multimedia services. Canar is one of the first operators in Africa to use an NGN network core.
EMTS – Nigeria
Etisalat signed an agreement to acquire 40% of and manage Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services, Nigeria’s fifth GSM operator.
Zantel – Tanzania
In January 1999, Etisalat acquired a stake in Zanzibar Telecom (a Tanzania-based mobile operator) for USD $2.4 million (AED 8.8 million) and has subsequently increased the stake by 17% in July 2007.
Since then, Zantel has introduced telcom services that are typical for the African region, such as mobile banking services for customers without access to banking facilities (Zpesa  Mobile Banking).
Atlantique Telecom/Moov – West Africa
In Africa, Etisalat acquired 50% of Atlantique Telecom’s shares in April 2005. Based in the Ivory Coast, AT owns mobile operators in Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo, Niger, Central African Republic, Gabon and Ivory Coast. In 2007, Etisalat increased its shares in AT to 70% and again in May 2008, to 82%. AT group subscribers totaled 2.9 million at the end of 2007, which is a 107% increase from the previous year.
Ivory Coast: Moov, is currently Ivory Coast’s third-largest cell-phone operator with a 1.5 million customer base. In 2008 Moov Ivory Coast introduced the first nationwide cell-phone coverage, based on Thuraya satellite access technology. It is the first time that such a service has been offered in sub-Saharan Africa, outside South Africa. It was expected that the expanded coverage introduced by the satellite service would help boost Moov’s customer base and even overtake France Telecom’s unit Orange as the top telecom services provider in the country.
Benin: Etisalat operates in Benin under the Moov brand. On 24 October 2007 the government of Benin has reassigned Telecel’s operating license to Etisalat. In February 2008, His Excellency Dr. Boni Yayi, President of Benin, honoured Etisalat chairman, Mohammad Hassan Omran during a ceremony to celebrate Etisalat’s efforts in developing and promoting the telecommunications sector in Benin.
XL Axiata – Indonesia
Indonesia-based mobile services operator PT XL Axiata (formerly PT Excelcomindo Pratama) is Etisalat’s first acquisition in the Far East. In December 2007 Etisalat took a 15.97% stake after paying USD $438 million (AED 1.6 billion). At the time of the acquisition XL had 15 million mobile subscribers.
Etisalat – Afghanistan
Etisalat Afghanistan is a newly established GSM operator, 100% owned by Etisalat. It was established in May 2006 after the UAE telecom won the license to operate the fourth mobile services provider in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Etisalat’s bid for the license was USD $1.2 billion (AED 4.4 billion) and services were launched in August 2007. Etisalat Afghanistan’s headquarters are in Kabul. Etisalat Afghanistan has achieved 24 per cent market share in 27 provinces of Afghanistan, the company said in a press release on March 3, 2010.
Etisalat – Sri Lanka
Etisalt acquired the Sri Lankan Operation of Millicom International Cellular (MIC), Tigo (Sri Lanka) on 16 October 2009. The acquisition was completed with a total enterprise value of 207 Million US$, out of which 155 Million US$ was in cash.
Tigo (Sri Lanka) under the then brand name CELLTEL started operations in June 1989 on a Motorola TACS system and was the first cellular operator in Sri Lanka as well as South Asia. In January 2007, Millicom replaced the local CELLTEL brand with Tigo, their international brand. In February 2010, Tigo was rebranded as Etisalat.
It competes with international operators like Dialog Telekom (Telekom Malaysia), Mobitel (Sri Lanka Telecom), Hutch (Hutchison) and Airtel (Bharti Airtel), using technologies GSM/EDGE and hopes to launch UMTS/HSDPA services over 900/1800 and 2100 MHz in 2010.
Some of the Internet services for home users that Etisalat offers include:
3G Mobile Internet access
Broadband Internet services (Al Shamil and eLife)
Prepaid and post-paid dialup Internet access
Etisalat also operates iZone, a system of Wi-FI hotspots in central locations, such as shopping malls, restaurants, and sheesha cafes. iZone can be accessed by either purchasing prepaid cards (AED 15/hour, USD $4.5/hour), or if using an existing account with the operator (AED 3/hour for dial-up account holders, or AED 6/hour for broadband users).
Dial-up and ISDN Internet access services are billed by the hour, whereas the domestic and residential cable and DSL connections have a fixed monthly rate depending on speed. Other Internet links, aimed at business users, have traffic utilization plans and relatively high rates when exceeding the allocated bandwidth quota. This has caused bad publicity for Etisalat and is a major source of criticism