Etisalat Chairman Outlines New Business Models For a Converged Media Industry

Published March 10th, 2010 - 12:51 GMT

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 10, 2010 (ME NewsWire): Etisalat’s chairman today addressed the Abu Dhabi Media Summit taking place at The Yas Hotel in the UAE capital and urged the industry to adopt new business models to maximize their reach across international boundaries.

He highlighted the case of the music industry which has successfully transitioned into a digital era and proposed similar models would be effective for other content providers.

“Previously, selling 10 million albums or CDs would be considered a success. Today, with the digital environment music providers are able to reach a billion customers at a fraction of the cost. This opens new markets and creates new opportunities. We are ready to work with other content providers to provide the solutions that will open new markets in the same way,” Mohammad Omran Chairman of Etisalat said.

Omran prescribed this business model to the banking industry in particular. In some developing countries, mobile banking will be the key access tool. He also discussed how technology was supporting education and how Etisalat was working with the UAE Ministry of Education to connect all schools in the nation with broadband Internet.

Mohammad Omran also explained that although developing markets would be challenged in the adoption of new technologies, they would not be left behind and gave Egypt as an example of one market where commentators had earlier said there was limited potential.

Etisalat’s chairman said: “Less than 3 years ago we won the license for Egypt, everyone said there is no more market in Egypt because it is not as wealthy as others and that penetration was sufficient at 25%. I told them within three years the market can develop to 50% penetration. Today it is 70% and three years has not yet ended.”

Etisalat is present in 18 countries and today has over 100 million customers and covers a region populated by almost 2 billion people.

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