Etisalat, the UAE’s telecommunications conglomerate announced on Sunday, December 25, that its management agreement with Saudi mobile operator Mobily has expired. Etisalat owns 27.4 percent of Mobily and helped to found the company over a decade ago. Etisalat has played a major role in Mobily’s management throughout the years, and the two companies are said to be working on a new arrangement together.
Mobily has been hit by controversy in recent years after it restated 27 months of earnings to March 31, 2015, citing accounting errors due to premature booking of revenue from a promotional campaign. The restatement cut the company’s total profits by 3.63 billion riyals ($968 million).
In a statement on December 25, Etisalat said, “Etisalat Group and Mobily are currently working on developing a service and technical support agreement which will take into consideration Mobily’s requirements for the coming period given the scale of operations and customer base.” Etisalat added, “Etisalat Group and Mobily will continue to work closely and foster the relation between each other to enhance shareholders’ value of both companies.”
Etisalat didn’t elaborate further on this statement. Mobily also commented on its expired management agreement with Etisalat saying “Mobily and Etisalat Group agree on the non-renewal of the same.” No further details were provided by Mobily.
Etisalat’s shares remained steady on Sunday closing 0.6 percent higher, while Mobily shares were flat in late trade, underperforming a 1.5 percent rise in the Saudi stock index.
Commenting on the news, Nishit Lakhotia, head of research at Securities & Investment Co. in Bahrain, said, “Mobily has reached a level of growth that offers it the flexibility to work independently, and maybe Mobily does not need micro-management from Etisalat anymore.” Lakhotia added, “For Etisalat, Saudi is a very important country, and it will remain one of their key influential operations outside the UAE.”
Despite the fact that the two companies seem to be going their separate ways, Lakhotia added that Etisalat has a substantial representation on Mobily’s board, and should therefore retain some influence on Mobily in the future.
Telecom Review continued its dedication & commitment to the ICT industry and exceeded all expectations with holding the best and largest high level executives of ICT gathering. These awards recognize industry leaders for their efficiency and hard work in 2016, and are a special way for Telecom Review to help celebrate the winner’s success.
This year there were 167 nominations for the Telecom Review Excellence Awards. We want to thank all of the judges who worked tirelessly on reviewing and judging the nominees.
Winners were chosen based on recognized and demonstrated capabilities in their specific sector by an independent panel of 15 experienced industry veterans.
“This year’s award winners represent the absolute best in our industry and we are very proud to honor these winners with such a distinguished award,” said Toni Eid, CEO of Trace Media International.
Etisalat, winners of the ‘Best Middle Eastern Operator’ currently has operations in 17 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, providing 162m customers with high quality services and is the largest operator in the Middle East, by market cap. 4G services are already available in 11 of the countries where it operates, enabling 790 million people potential access to its latest network services, while in 2016 Etisalat was the first in the region to run live trials of the next gen 5G network. Investment in an advanced network infrastructure has enabled the UAE to remain a global leader in fiber optic connectivity.
Commenting on the gathering of Industry Leaders, Jeff Seal, Managing Partner of Telecom Review North America noted: “Once again Telecom Review has brought together the leaders of the ICT/telecom industry.”
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Etisalat announced the roll out of IPv6, the latest standard in internet addressing technology enabling every device to have its own IP address and connect directly to the internet.
IPv6 is the future of internet addressing and is now rolling out across the UAE for all Etisalat eLife customers. IPv6 will enable many new and innovative services including smart homes, connected wearables, smart power grids while acting as the foundation for billions of machine-to-machine devices to communicate directly via the Internet of Things (IOT).
Etisalat eLife subscribers are expected to benefit from improved latency and speed while using applications, websites and services. As more connected-home devices become available, IPv6 will improve the set-up experience while delivering the potential for increased security.
Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Senior Vice President, Network Development, Etisalat UAE said: "We as Etisalat always strive to provide the latest technologies and innovations to enable UAE remain a leader in all aspects, as the country leaders always emphasise. IPv6 shall open the doors to many new services for smart cities and IOT in addition to enhance customer experience"
Jonathan Haysom, Vice President, Home Products, Etisalat UAE said: "Innovation and technology leadership is deep rooted in Etisalat's culture. We were the first carrier to rollout High Definition TV; we were also the first to deliver fiber broadband nationally, positioning Abu Dhabi as the world's first fully fibered capital city. Rolling out IPv6 for our eLife customers is yet another first and will be a catalyst towards the smart home and the 'Internet of Things' future.
As this launch is set to revolutionize the communication of devices in the online world, Etisalat has conducted extensive testing and trials in the lead up to the launch of the internet standard. Under the rollout, each Etisalat eLife home customer will automatically receive a large allocation of IPv6 addresses enabling potentially thousands of devices to be connected in the future.
Etisalat has announced its partnership with Smart Dubai Government to enhance the infrastructure of its existing network and proactively monitor and support to help achieve Dubai Government's Smart Dubai vision.
Smart Dubai Government is the technology arm of Smart Dubai, a city-wide initiative to make Dubai the happiest city on Earth.
Wesam Lootah, CEO Smart Dubai Government Establishment and Abdulla Al Ahmed, senior vice president, Government sales, Etisalat, signed a master services agreement at the GITEX Technology Week 2016. Under the agreement, Etisalat will help build the infrastructure to enhance the speed and performance of the existing network.
Wesam Lootah, CEO, Smart Dubai Government said: "Smart Dubai is committed towards making Dubai the happiest city on Earth. Today's strategic announcement will mainly benefit all Dubai government entities that work towards the goal of achieving this vision and work together to build the future of the city. Technology and a robust infrastructure are an integral part of this transformation, therefore it's essential to collaborate with a leading telco like Etisalat to utilize their expertise in building this smart network. We look forward to working closely with Etisalat and their team of experts to shape the future of the city and the country."
Abdulla Al Ahmed, senior vice president, Government Sales, Etisalat said: "Today's partnership with Smart Dubai Government is in line with Etisalat's pledge to support the long-term strategy of the nation, we have built a strong foundation by combining our strengths in robust and resilient communications and infrastructure services with our ecosystem of partners bringing global experience.
"We believe that with Etisalat's expertise, capabilities and strong track record of delivering flagship ICT projects, are well-positioned to support the UAE's 'Smart' vision, which is set to transform the country into an information-based economy. Etisalat has partnered with government entities on key projects bringing together our people, technologies and expertise in telecommunications and digital services and solutions for an on-time execution of complex projects."