Displaying items by tag: Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC, the parent company of “du” and “Virgin Mobile UAE”, published its financial results for the quarter ended 30 September 2017, showing a 4 percent growth in net profit after royalty to AED 476 million.
Revenue was “stable” according to EITC chief executive officer, Osman Sultan, at AED 3.13 billion, compared to AED 3.14 billion in Q3 2016, as the company “invests in adjacent business areas to transition to its next phase of growth.”
“We continue to see pressure on mobile rates, with mobile revenue decreasing 3.3 percent to AED 2.30 billion,” said Mr. Sultan. “We remain on track with our strategy of attracting higher quality customers and are pleased to report that the post-paid segment increased 14 percent in Q3 2017 compared to the same period last year.”
Mr. Sultan added, “EBITDA was AED 1.33 billion in Q3 2017, compared to AED 1.38 billion for the same period last year, showing a decline year on year as the company invests in adjacent business areas to transition to its next phase of growth.”
Mr. Sultan highlighted the launch of Virgin Mobile UAE as an exciting milestone of Q3 for EITC. “Featuring an innovative, all-digital platform, Virgin Mobile is ushering a new era of connectivity and simplicity for our customers, while also reinventing the traditional telecom business to a more efficient and lower cost base operating model,” he said.
As the company looks towards a “smart future”, Mr. Sultan said EITC is investing in pushing forward its digital transformation agenda and driving the company to its next phase of growth as a fully integrated ICT player.
“Our increased reliance on the IoT has fundamentally changed the way people interact and we therefore must change the way we do business,” he said. “To this end, we announced a significant change in our organizational structure with the creation of three new business divisions to support EITC’s growth.”
Mr. Sultan added, “The newly formed ICT Solutions division will provide UAE government entities and enterprises with advanced end-to-end ICT infrastructure and services; the Digital Lifestyle and Innovation division will be focused on the development of innovative products and services for UAE consumers, including smart home services, and the Infrastructure division will consolidate all infrastructure, network and data center operations under the EITC umbrella.”
As part of the new organizational model, Mr. Sultan announced the nominations of Fahad Al Hassawi and Farid Faraidooni as Deputy CEOs, each with oversight and mandate on specific areas. “I have the upmost confidence that together we will successfully drive EITC’s transformation agenda and allow expansion into new areas of growth,” he said.
Virgin Mobile UAE’s mobile plans are “totally customer-centric” said Product Manager Juraj Cangar speaking at the brand’s Design District HQ in Dubai on September 6. Customers can have their SIM card delivered to them “within an hour”, personalize their monthly mobile plan, and choose their own phone number, all via an in-house built app.
The fully app-based mobile service is part of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), the parent company of ‘du’. Both Virgin Mobile UAE and du will share EITC’s telecom network, allowing for Virgin Mobile to “focus more on customer experience and innovation rather than worrying about infrastructure,” said Managing Director Karim Benkirane.
Virgin Mobile UAE is unique in the sense that it doesn’t require customers to visit a physical store. Everything to do with your mobile plan is done through the app that was built by the Virgin Mobile UAE team. To join, you can simply download the app, register your details, and then choose your monthly plan (data package, international calling, international roaming, etc).
The best aspect of the app-based service is that you can edit your mobile package every month to suit your needs. For example, if you set your data plan at 1GB per month and realize it’s not enough, you can change it to 2GB (or higher/lower) for the next month. It’s important to note, though, that changes made to a plan won’t be implemented until the current plan has finished after 30 days.
Payment for the mobile package is made via credit card. Then, you must state whether you’re a visitor or a resident. This is a breakthrough feature for tourists coming to the UAE. Etisalat and du require Emirates identification to start a mobile plan which is often inconvenient for new arrivals to the UAE and tourists who want to temporarily use a local mobile network to make calls and use data.
If you’re a Virgin Mobile UAE customer and planning to travel abroad, you can pause your plan until you get back, rather than paying for a whole month’s worth of unused service. You can also customize your roaming package by selecting the country you plan to visit and choosing your package. What’s great is that the roaming package won’t begin until you start using the service in that country.
Another interesting feature Virgin Mobile UAE introduced is the ability to choose your own mobile number without having to visit a store. Following market research, the team discovered that “in the UAE people want to have their own personalized number,” said Mr. Cangar. “You can also bring your own number to Virgin Mobile. You don’t have to fill out any papers – just go through the app, find the number, and it’s yours,” he said.
Once you’ve registered your mobile plan (residents must scan a copy of their Emirates ID), your SIM card will be delivered directly to you. Virgin Mobile UAE partnered with ride-hailing firm Careem and trained some drivers to deliver the SIM cards. Drivers have an app that scans the customer’s information and then activates their SIM card. All Virgin Mobile UAE SIM cards are the same until a customer’s mobile plan is uploaded.
The Virgin Mobile UAE app can be downloaded via Google Play and Apple App Store. For now, the brand is focussing on Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, Mr. Benkirane said, and because it’s such a new service, he couldn’t offer any details about user numbers at this stage. Ultimately, the emergence of Virgin Mobile’s new service is an exciting step forward for the UAE as it continues to adopt a more digital and data-centric approach.
The Virgin Mobile brand was officially launched by Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) on August 5 in the UAE, bringing the first fully digital mobile service to the country. Virgin Mobile offers simple and transparent technology and a unique consumer experience through its innovative app-based service.
Earlier this year, following the announcement by Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) to bring the Virgin Mobile brand to the UAE, Virgin founder and global entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson visited the UAE to see the digital service in development.
Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC, commented: “Today, we are delighted to add such a well-known global brand to our portfolio, which is critical to our strategy of offering more choice for consumers in the UAE. We feel privileged to have welcomed Richard Branson to the UAE earlier this year, and to have his passionate support for the brand.”
“We have always worked hard to offer our customers the latest technologies and the best service, and we believe Virgin Mobile’s fully digital offering is ushering a new era in connectivity and customer-led service never seen before in the UAE,” he continued.
The Virgin Mobile UAE app signifies a paradigm shift in the mobile industry, digitally designed to simplify life for customers, and the unique Virgin Mobile distribution model allows customers to download the app and have the SIM card delivered to their homes or office throughout the UAE. The digital experience gives Virgin Mobile UAE customers flexibility and convenience, putting control of their mobile service back into the customer’s hands.
Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder said, “This is a very exciting time for us, and we are proud to announce the launch of the Virgin Mobile brand in the UAE. The digital service that Virgin Mobile is offering is world-class and cutting-edge. We have a fantastic team in place who I believe will make mobile better for customers across the UAE.”
The Virgin Mobile UAE app, which can be downloaded via the Google Play and Apple App Store, enables customers to hand-pick their own mobile number, custom-make a mobile plan, scan their ID, and have the Virgin Mobile UAE SIM card delivered anywhere in the UAE within an hour.
Using the Virgin Mobile UAE app, customers can port their mobile number without visiting a store, track their data and minute usage in real time, search and choose their favourite mobile number, set up monthly spend limits, and more. The subscription-based model means that there is no need for a contract, giving customers the flexibility to decide how they want to communicate with family and friends without being constrained by specific time bound terms and conditions.
Consumers in the UAE are already passionate about the Virgin brand, as Virgin Megastore, Virgin Radio and Virgin Atlantic have all been setting the standard for innovation, service excellence and customer experience inherent in this leading global brand.
Beta users were the first to try out the Virgin Mobile digital experience, providing valuable feedback which the Virgin Mobile UAE team has used to add the final touches to its mobile app.
“After months of rigorous testing, we are pleased to bring the first fully digital mobile service to the UAE”, said Karim Benkirane, Managing Director of EITC’s Virgin Mobile business unit. “Our team has developed an innovative digital platform to create simple customer-focused solutions. For example, there is no longer the need to go to a shop for your mobile needs, just download the app and you can not only have your SIM delivered, but also manage your mobile plan through the app.”
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (“du”) published its financial results on July 25 for the quarter ended 30 June 2017, and announced its plans to distribute AED 589.3 million of interim dividends to its shareholders for the first half of 2017 at 13 fils per share, subject to approval at the General Meeting in September 2017.
In its published financial results for the second quarter of 2017, the company delivered AED 3.26 billion in Revenue, up 6.2% from AED 3.07 billion in Q2 2016. Net Profit before royalty was AED 974 million for the period.
“EITC has made steady progress in the second quarter of 2017, with a 6.2% increase in Revenue and a slight improvement in Net Profit,” said CEO Osman Sultan. “Driven by growth in handset sales, wholesale and fixed revenues, total Revenue reached AED 3.26 billion in Q2 2017, representing a 6.2% increase over the same period last year. Revenue has also shown growth over the first six months of the year with a 4.3% increase to AED 6.42 billion.
Mr. Sultan added that the company’s mobile customer base increased 1.5% during Q2 2017 to 8.2 million customers, up from 8.1 million in Q2 2016. This was largely due, he said, to the company’s strategy of focusing more on attracting and retaining higher quality customers, with solid growth in post-paid customer additions.
Despite a steady performance during the quarter and the first half of the year, EITC continues to be impacted by challenging market conditions, Mr. Sultan added, with pressure on mobile rates and data monetization. Consequently, EBITDA and Net Profit stand at the same level as Q2 2016.
“Looking towards a smart future, we have made further investments into Smart Dubai, the Virgin Mobile brand and adjacent markets,” he said. “We will continue to invest in the future generation capacity of the business; EITC is a digital enabler and will be able to create new revenue opportunity as digital transformation for both consumers and enterprises opens up new markets.”
A major highlight for the second quarter of the year for EITC was its progress with the introduction of the Virgin Mobile brand. During the period, the company began a program of pre-launch customer registration and conducted trial tests.
“We enrolled a few select number of UAE residents to test the product and its customer service, and are happy with the feedback received,” said Mr. Sultan. “We look forward to the full commercial launch of the Virgin Mobile brand in the UAE soon, and with it, bringing a fully digital and premium customer experience.”
He concluded, “Our results are backed by our commitment to the future development of a digitally-enabled ecosystem. During the period, we achieved a milestone development in connectivity technology, with the successful testing of a 5G solution that will significantly upgrade connectivity speed for our users. With this initiative and more to come, we remain committed to a smart future, and the Government’s vision for a smart nation.”
Nokia's first commercial deployment of its Centralized RAN technology in the Middle East, with the UAE-based telecommunications service provider du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company), treated music fans at a concert in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with uplink speeds 40% faster than previously possible.
The New Year's Eve concert at Abu Dhabi's largest music venue, du Arena, drew more than 25,000 fans, with many sharing their experience over social networks. This required du's mobile broadband network to cope with heavy demand for speed and capacity, while ensuring the lowest possible battery drain for concert goers' smartphones.
Nokia's Centralized RAN technology eliminated uplink congestion by using du's 800 MHz and 1800 MHz bands and linking multiple LTE base cells together into cooperative clusters to improve the overall performance. This resulted in du subscribers at the event being able to share substantial amount of data at speeds close to 40% faster on average when compared to similar events held at the site in November. In addition, the technology resulted in smartphone power savings, as it required less power for uplink, leading to the phone battery lasting close to five times longer than without Centralized RAN.
"Concert audiences love to share their experiences, and this can put significant strain on mobile networks and phone battery life. We helped du improve its network capacity, meaning customers could upload more videos, photos and messages, a key factor in creating a memorable New Year's Eve experience,” said Bernard Najm, head of the Middle East Market Unit at Nokia.
Centralized RAN can double the uplink capacity in existing LTE networks and achieves up to ten times faster uploads at the cell edge. Nokia Centralized RAN builds on 3GPP standardization, bringing performance improvements while being compatible with existing LTE devices. Operators can build denser LTE networks and reduce subscriber churn by delivering higher capacity and more robust services even during high traffic events.
"Mobile users continuously use their devices more and more to share their life experiences with their family and friends. Working with Nokia to deploy its solutions such as Centralized RAN helps us prepare for future bandwidth-intensive applications, while at the same time leverage our existing radio network investment,” said Saleem AlBlooshi, Executive Vice President - Network Development & Operations, du.
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, the parent of the brand du which was launched ten years ago, announced the launch of Virgin Mobile in the UAE on January 31 in Dubai. EITC chief executive Osman Sultan stressed the fact that Virgin Mobile is not being launched as a new telecom operator in the UAE, but a new brand under EITC, aiming to cater to digital natives who live on their mobile phones. More details of the services that Virgin Mobile will offer in the UAE will come soon.
"It gives me great pleasure and great happiness to launch another brand by EITC, and that brand is Virgin Mobile," said Mr. Sultan at the press conference. "A new baby is born for EITC and we are privileged that we have the use of this brand. I think that everybody knows the Virgin Mobile brand and everybody knows we thrive for being customer-centric. We believe this makes perfect sense and it's a perfect match."
During the announcement, Mr. Sultan introduced Karim Benkirane, Managing Director of Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa, who previously held the CEO position at Virgin Mobile KSA. Karim will be the "Managing Director of Virgin Mobile UAE in charge of operations working within EITC and reporting to me," said Mr. Sultan. He said in a few weeks more details about what services the Virgin Mobile brand will offer in the UAE will be released.
"I'm really proud to be part of EITC," said Mr. Benkirane. "I'm really proud to be part of this historic moment in this country. Virgin Mobile is a global brand and it's a consumer mobile brand. We have great experience in so many countries and we are trying to bring this experience and our expertise to the UAE market. We want to bring a differentiated experience, one that truly embraces digitalization."
"Digital transformation is our main focus and we believe that the digital revolution has changed completely our needs, so there is a niche market of people who live their lives on mobile, and Virgin would like to make their lives much easier and also make sure that we can make mobile better," Mr. Benkirane added.
EITC has full ownership, management, and operation of Virgin Mobile in the UAE, said Mr. Sultan. "Let me be very clear: This is not a third operator," he explained. "This is not a new license. This is not an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). EITC is introducing another brand - Virgin Mobile - after having acquired the rights to use the Virgin brand in the United Arab Emirates."
Sultan stressed the importance of understanding that the new brand doesn't represent a new telecom operator. No entity other than ETIC has any stake in the operations of the new brand. Just like du, Virgin Mobile will use the network and other infrastructure of EITC. It has the right to use the brand in the UAE.
All customer contracts, like du customers, will be in the name of EITC, the license operator, which eleven years ago, signed a contract with the TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority). EITC became a telecom operator in the UAE before the du brand existed. All regulatory obligations within the framework will be under the responsibility of EITC.
"Within EITC, we created a separate business unit," said Sultan, explaining the origins of Virgin Mobile as part of EITC. "This unit will do all of the marketing and interfacing, sales, customer care, product development, looking at customer experience, etc."
"In 2017, we are now in a world that is fast-changing, and I don't think I need a lot of words to convince you that this change is really radical," said Mr. Sultan, discussing the varying needs of digital natives today. "There is nothing that we do in our daily lives that is not being transformed by this digital universe," he said, adding that there is a need for customers to have services converged more smoothly - interconnected and converged services. Therefore, Virgin Mobile could be the answer for this.
Sultan said he has been observing the world we live in today, which ultimately led him to launch a new brand in the UAE similar to how EITC- a licensed operator - launched du ten years ago. "Launching another brand alongside du will cater to the needs of a segment and will be appealing to a large segment of the market and will fit totally with the DNA of EITC," he said.
"Almost ten years ago, EITC launched telecom services through the du brand," said Sultan, reflecting on the success of du. "It is true that we were not the first in this country or this region as a telco. But we have a solid history of firsts, certainly in this region and probably at a global level."
EITC was one of the first operators to offer Full Triple Play, and was one of the first operators globally to have used a full optical fiber network to go to homes or to businesses. Using fiber was a bet, but it was the right bet, said Sultan.
EITC was also the first operator in the region to offer Pay by the Second, and was the first to launch a multiple benefit recharge card. "Because we are dedicated to the UAE market, as a telecom operator, we were also the first to launch an Emirati plan dedicated to the specific needs of Emiratis," said Sultan.
"We look at our customers and we are driven by their needs, by what they like, what they want," he said. "We were the first to start payment on mobile, which indicated the way we were seeing how these instruments we carry will become transformative in our lives, and that you can do much more than just receive calls or send messages. We are an integral part of the social and economic fabric of the country."
"We were one of the first in the world to roll our Fiber to the Home (FTTH) - this is now mainstream for all telcos," Mr. Sultan continued. "On the other side of the spectrum, we were the first to deploy smart street lights in Dubai Silicon Oasis recently. Also, we are very proud to be the partner of the Dubai Smart Office, and proud that we launched WiFi UAE all across the nation. We are proud to be an enabler of this journey."
For more information on EITC's new brand 'Virgin Mobile', visit: www.virginmobile.ae