Telecom operator Etisalat has said that its small-medium enterprise (SME) customers have grown over the last year owing to its business packages tailored to suit their needs.
The operator said that it has been able to increase its SME customer base due to the revamped packages that offer flexibility to users and provide access to the latest devices without any up-front costs.
SMEs account for 92 per cent of the UAE’s total registered companies and contribute to 40 per cent of the country’s GDP. Etisalat has been trying to tap into this lucrative market through its renewed offers and business mobile packages. The operator said that it has also introduced tariffs that can be customised according to the users’ needs.
“In the coming year, we see growth potential from the SME business segment therefore will continue to invest in launching new services and enhancing the network,” said John Lincoln, senior vice president- business marketing, Etisalat.
“Many of the local businesses are looking at the next level of growth from outside UAE. This requires the support from the government as well as improved connectivity and communication to all their stakeholders.”
Etisalat, which previously enjoyed a domestic monopoly, has been facing strong competition from its rival du in the last few years. Analysts have attributed much of the latter’s growth to its attractive pricing tariffs and aggressive marketing strategy.
Recently, du launched a new business plan in partnership with Google in order to boost the online presence of SMEs. The plan will enable SMEs to be more visible online through Google’s Adwords platform.
The UAE’s telecoms sector is gradually becoming competitive with the country’s regulator introducing a number of measures such as the new Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service. The MNP service, which comes into effect next week, will allow the subscribers to switch between service providers while retaining their current number.
However the telcos still remain at loggerheads over a network sharing deal to open up fixed-line services in the country. Both du and Etisalat offer fixed-line, broadband and television packages though not in the same districts.
If the network sharing deal fructifies, the UAE’s telecom landscape will become even more competitive as the operators will have a larger subscriber base to target while instigating price-driven competition, according to analysts.