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Big 7 African telcos enter landmark agreement

Phone Handsets

As a result of high-level meetings at this year’s Mobile World Congress, seven major mobile operators across Africa and the Middle East have developed a roadmap to cooperate on network infrastructure sharing initiatives.

“We are greatly encouraged by the shared vision of mobile operators and the common urgency to find solutions that will drive down the cost of mobile and Internet services and help connect the unconnected,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA.

“Unique mobile subscriber penetration is only 40 per cent in Africa and the Middle East, lower than the global average of 47 per cent, so we need to work together to expand the reach of mobile.”

The initial group of senior leaders who support this initiative includes:

* Christian de Faria, CEO Africa, Bharti Airtel

* Ahmad Julfar, Group CEO, Etisalat Group

* Sifiso Dabengwa, CEO and President, MTN Group

* Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo Group

* Marc Rennard, Senior Executive Vice President, Africa, Middle East and Asia, Orange

* Serpil Timuray, CEO, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific Region, Vodafone Group

* Scott Gegenheimer, CEO, Zain Group

“This cooperation demonstrates that the industry is committed to innovating in order to serve the billions living in the rural areas,” said Manoj Kohli, Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises and Chair of the Public Policy Committee of the GSMA board, who also supports the initiative. “We call on governments to support and encourage the commercial infrastructure sharing arrangements that we aim to propose.”

According to a statement, “the participating operators have made this commitment in order to provide Internet and mobile broadband access to unserved rural communities and drive down the cost of mobile services for all sections of the population.”

Between the operators involved, they collectively manage 76 mobile network operations across 47 countries in Africa and the Middle East, serving 506 million customers.


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Orlando Julius and Grammy-winning Jazz Master, Marcus Miller, set Lagos Jazz Series Stage on Fire

This year’s Etisalat-sponsored Lagos Jazz Series was as enthralling as expected, with guests at the A-list event treated to five hours of snazzy performances by renowned jazz legends, Nigeria’s Orlando Julius and America’s, Marcus Miller, at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos.

Miller, the star act at the event, won Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song in 1992, for Luther Vandross‘ “Power of Love” and Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2001 for his fourth solo instrumental album titled M2. Miller lifted the hearts of the Lagos Jazz Series guests to Motown when he performed ‘Detroit’, to the Middle East when he performed ‘Blast’ and back into Africa when he performed ‘Tutu’. The highlight of Miller’s performance was when the multi-instrumentalist proudly showcased his all-Nigerian drum crew, who were recruited barely 4 days before the concert.

The concert featured other performers drawn from across the world, including South African Pianist, Nduduzo Makhathini and Kenya’s Sara Mitaru who opened the concert. The Lagos Jazz Series 2013 also featured instrumentalists from Nigeria, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Boston, Texas and London.

Acting Chief Executive Officer at Etisalat Nigeria, Mathew Willsher, said supporting the Lagos Jazz Series was the brand’s way of sharing its passion for life with customers and also bringing nothing short of top quality music performances for their pleasure. The Lagos Jazz Series follows other concerts activated by Etisalat, this year, such as Mary J. Blige Concert, MUSON Classical Concert and Cloud 9 Series.

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Etisalat Re-Assures on Enhanced Customer Care Service at Customer Forum Lagos

Nigeria’s most innovative and fastest growing telecommunications company, Etisalat has reassured Nigerians of its commitment to enhancing customer experience on its network through constant engagement with its customers. According to the mobile phone operator, this is in line with its brand promise communicated at the beginning of its operation in 2008 to continuously demonstrate its leadership as a customer-focused company.

Speaking at the just concluded Lagos edition of the Etisalat Customer Forum, held at Oriental Hotel Lagos, Director Customer Care, Etisalat Nigeria, Plato Syrimis said that the forum is part of the company’s commitment to deliver world-class telecommunications services to its growing subscribers and also engage them through one-on-one interactions, while receiving undiluted feedback from them on how to improve the quality of products and services they offer their customers.

“At Etisalat Nigeria, our world revolves around our esteemed customers and one of our ultimate goals is to keep them smiling always. Etisalat is a network that calls its customers a friend and treats them like family. This forum is a strategy deliberately designed to improve the quality of customer service available to our customers and create an avenue for direct customer feedback on several points about the services of our network,” he said.

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Speaking at the Forum, one of the customers, Bramwell Umunnakwe, described Etisalat as “a young brand that is providing something big in the telecommunication industry”. His words: “Etisalat Nigeria is very young, but they are doing something bigger than their age in the country and I really cannot compare them with other networks that have been in existence before they came. I enjoy their service which is why I moved members of my family to their network. However, my advice to them is to continue to improve our communication experience,” he said.

Ice Prince Visits Etisalat Experience Centres, Signs Autographs

Nigerian Rapper and Hip-Hop Artiste, Ice Prince on Thursday, November 21st had an autograph signing session at Etisalat Experience Centres at Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island;  E-Centre, Yaba; and Ikeja City Mall.

The session was put together by Etisalat as part of the activities to the build-up of his Fire of Zamani (FOZ) album launch which held on Saturday, November 23rd.

See pictures from the session below:

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Etisalat Partners EDC for 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Week

Etisalat Nigeria in partnership with the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University, last week held the 2013 edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), targeted at youths and young entrepreneurs in the country, to help improve their chances of succeeding in their various chosen businesses.

Head, Business Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Bidemi Ladipo noted that it was important for business owners to have access to the right information needed to excel in business. “At Etisalat, we have been relentless in supporting initiatives that go a long way in assisting young people to achieve their dreams as regards successfully setting up businesses. Some of the initiatives we have used to help develop businesses include Market Access which is in partnership with SMEDAN, our Etisalat Easybusiness package which helps SMEs to communicate at a reduced cost and our recently launched promo called Easybusiness millionaire hunt which gives an opportunity for people with great business ideas to win as much as N2 million. This is the 3rd Edition of the Global Entrepreneurship week which we are sponsoring and we are satisfied with the level of impact these trainings have had,” he said.

Also speaking at a seminar earlier organized for National Youth Corpers, Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Centre, (EDC), Nneka Okekearu expressed satisfaction with the improved turnout at the seminar. “It has become very obvious that our contributions to the Global Entrepreneurship are beginning to pay off. In the last three years since Nigeria joined the international event, we have had over eight events, over 50 local partners and more than 1.5 million people have participated at the events held in Lagos and Calabar,” she said.

She also commended Etisalat Nigeria for once again partnering with the Enterprise Development Centre for this year’s edition. “I want to particularly thank Etisalat for the support they have shown to EDC in making this edition of the GEW another success. They have been with us over the years and have continued to demonstrate strong support towards young entrepreneurs,” she said.

The 2013 GEW kicked off on Saturday November 16 with a 7km awareness walk in Victoria Island, Lagos and followed by a seminar on women entrepreneurship development which held at the American Embassy on Monday November 18The high point of the week was a seminar tagged “Africa Rising” which held on Wednesday November 20. It featured  notable speakers from Bank of Industry, Keystone Bank who took the entrepreneurs on how to access loans and ideas to grow their business. Over 400 National Youth Service Corps members attended the event which held at the Lagos Business School of the Pan Atlantic University.

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Etisalat Launches Easybusiness Millionaire Hunt Promo for SMEs


As part of efforts to support Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria realise their business ideas, Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat has launched an innovative scheme tagged Easybusiness Millionaire Hunt.

Speaking on the promo, Director, Business Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Lucas Dada, said the Easybusiness Millionaire Hunt will go a long way to help young entrepreneurs who possess fantastic business ideas but lack the capital to pursue their dreams.

“Easybusiness Millionaires Hunt is designed to reward Nigerian SMEs with the most viable business ideas with fantastic gift items such as business grants worth N20m, free training courses on entrepreneurial management and advisory services from the esteemed Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University, office equipment and smartphones to kick off their business in the right direction,” he said.

He expressed the belief that the promo would prove beneficial to SME owners across the country. Dada explained that “although the Top 10 winners with the best business ideas will be rewarded with N2 million each, there are also other prizes to be won which include free business trainings at the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University for the top 50 winners, in addition to getting office equipment to help them start up their business and over 200 Smartphone’s to be won on a daily basis throughout the promo duration.”

He further explained that interested customers are required to text YES to 5885 from their Easybusiness lines to opt-in for the competition. After this, he said, an SMS would be sent to them indicating a unique code and a URL where their business ideas should be forwarded to. Easybusiness customers can also enter a daily draw to win smartphones by texting WIN to 30555. The offer is open to new and existing Easybusiness customers only, but customers on other plans can migrate to easybusiness by loading N1000 and dialing *246*1#.

Winners of smartphones have already emerged in the daily draw and have been presented with their prizes. Some of the winners include Mr. Nosa Austine, Haruna Mohammed and Jonathan Bata, all Easybusiness subscribers. The Easybusiness millionaire hunt promo will run from September 23 to December 31, 2013.

Etisalat Nigeria Set to Sponsor ITU Telecoms World 2013 in Bangkok


In line with its reputation as Nigeria‘s most innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat has announced its sponsorship of this year’s annual convergence of the global information and communication technology (ICT) community, tagged International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecoms World, scheduled to hold between 19th and 22nd November, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Speaking on the sponsorship, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko, said Etisalat’s participation at this summit is aimed at showcasing the company’s  innovative products and services as well as its achievements in just five years of operations.

“Etisalat is a success story of investment in Nigeria and we take this invitation from the NCC to participate at this year’s ITU summit as a recognition of the role the brand has played in the industry since our launch in 2008. Etisalat’s sponsorship of this event also underlines the company’s  interest in the development of the ICT industry as well as improving relationships with Stakeholders in the telecommunications industry,” he said.

ITU Telecom World 2013 will bring together a uniquely comprehensive audience of public and private sector players at the highest level. Heads of State, Government Ministers, Policy Makers and Regulators will meet with industry CEOs from operators, service providers and content developers for a high-level debate, innovation showcasing and networking.

Originally founded as the International Telegraph Union, The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies. The ITU coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world, and assists in the development and coordination of worldwide technical standards

Gennii Games, Efiwe Mobile Application Emerge Winners of Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation


Genii Games and Efiwe Mobile Application have emerged winners of the second edition of the ‘Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation’ organized by Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat. This award which is aimed at encouraging and celebrating valuable innovation in the African market was presented at the Africa Com awards Gala Dinner held at the Waterfront Lookout, Cape Town South Africa, on the 13th of November 2013 as part of the Africa Com 2013 Conference.

The ‘Etisalat Prize for Innovation’ was awarded in 2 categories: The first prize of $25, 000 for the most innovative product or service was presented to Genii Games (Asa), a growing collection of interactive culture teaching mobile app for African children, and a second prize of $10,000 for the most innovative idea presented to Efiwe Mobile application, a social education network that provides a simulated learning environment with in-depth resources in every field of study and subject of study.

Speaking on the success of the second edition of the competition which witnessed an impressive array of entries for the two award categories, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher, explained that the competition was instituted to provide the opportunity for ingenious people to present innovative and relevant mobile broadband products/services and ideas.

He said, “We are delighted at the creativity shown by all the entries and this is a clear indication of the importance of broadband in Africa. Innovative broadband projects, products and services have improved the way we live and work and so we launched this award last year because we realise the importance of broadband in the industry. Innovation is core to our business strategy at Etisalat Nigeria and we see ourselves as a young and innovative business setting the pace for others in the Nigerian telecommunications industry”.

The Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation featured a high-level judging panel representing business, telecommunications, entrepreneurship and network development reviewed the entries and established a final shortlist of 4 nominees in the two categories.

The 6th annual Africa Com Awards provided an evening of entertainment that attendees described as the best yet.

Etisalat Leads Development of Innovation Culture in the Mobile App Ecosystem

Etisalat Nigeria has once again demonstrated its industry leadership and continuing support to the growing community of local application developers in the country by partnering with 70TH Precinct on the maiden edition of the Nigeria App Summit 2013. The summit which held recently at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island was organized to provide a structured platform for discourse on growth and development of the Nigerian App ecosystem.

Working with the central theme: “Unleashing the Power of Mobile Applications”, speakers and delegates all agreed that for the Nigerian App ecosystem to reach its full potential, the Apps must be able to address the needs of their target audience. To achieve this, speakers at the summit charged local developers to come up with innovative ideas that will drive usage and ultimately change the face of mobile App technology in the country.

Manager, Data Marketing, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Bankole Alao reiterated Etisalat’s commitment to partner with brilliant application developers and technology start-ups. According to him, Etisalat is concerned about the growth of indigenous Apps and is ready to provide the necessary support in terms of exposure to the appropriate target subscriber base and enabling infrastructure to make the apps work. “We have been able to grow our sub base to 16 million subscribers in just over five years due to our firm commitment and belief in delivering value through innovative products and services. We believe that App developers should embrace the same culture and provide users with unforgettable interactive experiences,” he said.

The conference played host to the brightest minds in mobile technology, along with developers, brand managers, and mobile devices manufacturers. The Minister of Information Communication, Mrs. Omobola Johnson in a recorded message commended the organizers and partners of the event, saying that it was happening at a time when internet penetration was on an increase. She articulated the Federal Government’s agenda to incubate and accelerate the growth of the ecosystem through trainings that will enable the developers sell their ideas to companies.

Summit Director, Mr. Osa Umweni said the objective of the summit was to bring together the stakeholders in the mobile technology industry to proffer solutions to the creation and adoption of locally designed Apps. He lauded Etisalat for its role in driving these conversations, saying that the company understands that the future of mobile technology lies in Applications. He also implored other network service providers to work on putting Nigeria on the global map as far as mobile Apps are concerned.


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Brands were all present at the maiden Customer Centricity Summit, sponsored by the fastest growing and most innovative telecommunications company in Nigeria, Etisalat Nigeria, where the company stayed true to its customer-centric DNA, stating that customers must come first on quality service delivery. The three-day Summit, themed ‘Service Experience – What does Customer Centricity Mean for Business?’, was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lagos recently.

Put together by Montgomery West Africa, panel discussions focused on what customer centricity meant for businesses, how businesses were achieving this and customer experience challenges. Speakers also examined what customers considered to be excellent service experience, standard service delivery, customer experience transformation strategies, customer satisfaction, digital service delivery and the effects of internal changes on customers.

Speaking on Etisalat’s customer-centric DNA which earned it the first ever Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) award for ‘Excellent Service and Effective Collaboration with the Consumer Affairs Bureau to ensure access to Customer Care Help line’, Chief Commercial Officer, Matthew Willsher, said customer centricity meant a total committed approach to delivering lasting and effective customer experience.

‘The ability to speak with customers in their locations should be at the forefront. By interaction, an organization is able to collate customer issues, pay attention and create long-term solutions. This is why Etisalat has hundreds of Customer Experience Centres across the country while keeping online care platforms open 24 hours. The mission is to keep people first and satisfy customers always. The result is happy customers who spend more, recommend more and stay longer,’ the Etisalat Nigeria CCO said.

Also speaking at the Summit, Managing Director, Montgomery West Africa, Tori Abiola, said ‘Customer experience is about emotions and emotions are about people. While considering various business strategies, it is important to also take a look at the internal atmosphere. The right customer experience drives retention, competitiveness and future business growth by motivating customer centric decisions.’