Etisalat Unfazed by Global Crisis

ABU DHABI - Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, known as Etisalat, is not affected by the global financial crunch, nor is it worried about its revenue growth this year, the company�s top executive said on Saturday.

Etisalat’s finances are “strong” and do not suffer from loan or credit problems, said Chief Executive Mohammed Al Qamzi, speaking at a news conference in the capital.

“The corporation did not observe any negative effect of the financial crisis on its first-quarter revenues this year. The first-quarter revenues this year are positive,” he said.

Etisalat, which  claims   about 71 per cent of the country’s telecommunications market, was not directly affected by the turmoil in international 
financial markets.

The UAE’s ample liquidity might have helped limit damage from the financial crisis, Al Qamzi said.

However, Etisalat has been affected indirectly by the worldwide crisis, in the form of fluctuating exchange rates for major foreign currencies such 
as the euro.

Al Qamzi added that the slowing economy might affect some of Etislat’s projects and could therefore have a slight impact on its revenues.

Al Qamzi said the company would be selective in its foreign investments and seek to generate new revenue streams by offering new packages to customers.

The country’s second telecoms operator, du, has the remaining 29 per cent share of the domestic market, Etisalat said.

Etisalat said separately that Abu Dhabi would become the world’s first capital city to be fully wired with optical fiber telecommunications, thanks to the company’s new “eLite” service. This service is based on so-called “Fibre to the Home” technology, Al Qamzi said.

Etisalat expects to complete the project,  which will boost speed and bandwidth, in the third quarter of this year. Etisalat will connect all of Abu Dhabi’s households with eLite. It is also in the process of wiring Dubai and Sharjah with the same service.