EtisalatMisr is working on boosting its growth in the Egyptian market to reach 10% throughout 2016. Its most prominent strategic goals are expanding in the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing services and business services for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), according to Acting CEO Hazem Metwally.
Do you believe proposing a new licence for mobile phones in Egypt is appositive step for the market and competition?
Offering a new licence for mobile phone operation in the Egyptian market is solely the responsibility of the decision makers in the Egyptian government. However, we hope that such decisions are taken after studying the market well to assess its readiness and need for a new operator.
What are the main aspects of EtisalatMisr’s strategy in 2016?
The information and communication technology (ICT) sector is one of the sectors that fundamentally depends on long term investment, which requires a stable investment climate: stable legislation and clear future plans to give all players in the sector the chance to develop and work in alliance with the country’s plans.
For EtisalatMisr, improving service quality for customers is one of the main strategic goals. We seek to transform from an operator offering voice and data services into an operator that offers comprehensive ICT solutions.
What are the opportunities and services the company seeks to exploit in the local market?
We are focusing on offering ICT services for our customers, whether individuals, major companies, SMEs, or governmental institutions.
We are also adopting plans to expand in the IoT concept, which became a reality that all companies must incorporate to offer services to their customers that improve their quality of life. IoT operates by connecting home appliances with smartphone applications, which enables users to control such devices via the Internet.
Moreover, Cloud Computing technology is one of the services offered to SMEs among the smart solutions of EtisalatMisr. These services and solutions are offered through a platform that is equipped with a number of integrated solutions, including all the business applications that facilitate company work. That is in addition to providing integrated solutions in the field of education, which includes system to manage the education process, digital content, and advanced devices that increase the interaction between students and their curricula.
EtisalatMisr offers cutting-edge virtual retail solutions.
How do you evaluate competition and challenges in the telecom sector in Egypt?
The telecom market is currently highly competitive, which is a positive factor that reflects well on the majority of consumers. In the upcoming period, we do not expect competition related to prices, since they reached their lowest rates since the launch of mobile phone services in Egypt. Therefore, we expect the service quality to be the determining factor in the market.
There are many challenges in the sector that must be overcome. One of the main challenges is the notable increase of operational expenses, such as electricity and diesel prices, which adds burden to operators. It also delays the issuing of the permits required for network expansion, which affects operations. We are confident however that the Ministry of Communications and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency can address such challenges and facilitate all the sectors’ needs.
How does EtisalatMisr provide funding for its upcoming period of expansions?
The volume of finance required in the company is attributed to its expansion plans and the need for continuous development, particularly in technology sector. The need to acquire new funding will increase by offering new services, such as 4G services, or allocating required frequencies. We may depend on credit facilitations from banks or self-financing, which will be determined according to the volume of expansion to cover our increasing need to develop our networks to reach the optimum quality of services offered.
What developments does the company offer in the Egyptian Stock Exchange?
The stock markets for emerging markets are in a state of instability, and so we are closely observing the performance of Egyptian stock market to determine the most appropriate time to launch our IPO. The percentage offered will be determined according to the market’s changes and the shareholders’ decisions.
What are the growth rates targeted by Etisalat in 2016?
EtisalatMisr always seeks the highest growth rates possible, so we are hoping to reach a growth rate of 10% next year to ensure our effective contribution and our leading role in the Egyptian market and ICT sector.
Is Etisalat negotiating with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to expand its money transfer services?
We are continuously negotiating with the CBE through the National Bank of Egypt to expand the areas of cooperation and allow the transferring of funds from abroad to Egypt for Etisalat customers, and to determine the regulations controlling these operations to provide better service for our customers.