Saturday, 8 June 2013

Promos make telecoms business competitive – Etisalat CEO

Steven Evans 
Promotions run by telecommunications companies for their subscribers is critical to the success of business as it encourages healthy competition among operators, the Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans, has said.
He said this in Lagos on Thursday while addressing journalists at a Mobile Number Portability forum organised by the company.
Evans said a ban on promos was synonymous to “a ban on competition”; as such ban would only favour the dominant player in the market.
“Promos make telecoms business competitive. A ban on promos only favours one company,” he stressed.
Commenting on the MNP scheme, the Etisalat boss said six weeks into the scheme several thousands of subscribers had ported to its network. He, however, declined to give the actual figure.
“We are feeling quite happy as people get more confident in the process. For us, porting is definitely a success,” he said.
Speaking on the reason behind the firm’s late MNP campaign, Evans said the major concern of Etisalat was to make sure the process was running appropriately and the consumer experience was positive, with the porting process happening smoothly. The firm commenced its MNP campaign on June 3, this year.
He commended the Nigerian Communications Commission for playing a constructive role in the process, saying Etisalat currently has a capacity for 20 million subscribers. Subscribers on the network are said to be over 15 million currently.
According to him, the firm is committing between $400m to $500m to its network upgrade for this year and 2014, and remained confident that even if it runs promos, there would be very low impact on the congestion of its network.

He said the firm made operating profit in the last quarter of 2011, and hopes to make profit after interests and taxes by 2015.
Evens described MNP as a very important element of a competitive market, but added that the scheme is not for every subscriber.
“It concerns mainly those that have a number for a long time and have been known with that number, and are unsatisfied with the network,” he explained.
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