Over 500 influencers and decision-makers, CEOs and senior executives gathered in London to witness Etisalat and other leading telecommunications players being awarded for their contribution to the telecommunications industry in 2008. This was for the World Communications Awards (WCA), in which Etisalat was named the world's 'Best International Carrier'.
"The short-list for the Best International Carrier Award was made up of operators who were already recognized as the best in their region. This year the shortlist was formed of the 'Best Regional Operators' from each of five key areas: Europe; Middle East & Africa; Asia/Asia Pacific; North America; and Latin America & Rest of the World. The winner is considered the best of the best across all regions," said Rob Chambers, Publisher, Total Telecom the organizers of the World Communications Awards.
Mohammad Hassan Omran, Chairman of Etisalat said: "We are delighted to have been acknowledged as the best international carrier in the world in 2008. This is a major landmark in Etisalats history and is also a clear indication that our international expansion strategy is succeeding. More than this, the award recognises the quality and commitment shown by each our employees and I wish to take this opportunity to thank each of them for making Etisalat the best in the world."
Mohammed Al Qamzi, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat, said: "I challenge all of our people, suppliers and partners to work even harder. Our mission, to extend our customer's reach, has never been more relevant and with this award, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to work with device manufacturers, content providers and other major operators to set the agenda for the global telecommunications industry in the future."
Etisalat's achievements had been judged and recognised by a panel of 15 international judges from expert organsiations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Ovum, Frost & Sullivan KPMG, Total Telecom, ETNO, and The Economist.
David Molony, Principal Analyst, IP Enterprise Practise for Ovum who was also the chairman of the judging panel said: "This year's big operator trophies have been swept by Orange, Belgacom and Etisalat, but as ever the competition was just as close as could be. Our congratulations to them, and to all the finalists who made the judging so difficult."
Etisalat has grown from its home market in the United Arab Emirates to a commanding position in the Middle East and Africa region. The judges applauded the group’s service quality and recognised the exceptional growth driven by rapid market share gains in the region's larger economies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. One judge pointed to "comprehensive high-quality services", while another said it was exactly the kind of example they were looking for "of an aspiring telecoms operator with international ambitions". A compound revenue growth of 29% per annum since 2005 places Etisalat amongst the world’s fastest growing network operators. The judges said it is fitting that the most technologically advanced operator in the Middle East is gaining due recognition on the international stage.
Etisalat was also a finalist in the Best Brand category. The Emirates Telecommunications Corporation operates under the Etisalat brand in the UAE, Egypt, Afghanistan and Nigeria. "Etisalat is an extremely well-known brand globally," said one judge. "International expansion has helped impressive brand development despite a small home market," said another, a point picked up by a third member of the panel: "An entry that shows how the company has understood the importance of international branding in helping growth plans for the operating division."
The World Communication Awards recognise the companies and individuals responsible for the innovations, achievements and great new services that are helping to build tomorrow’s industry. The Awards are open to all communications providers, whether they are traditional carrier, service provider, multimedia content provider or another organisation providing a communication service.
The World Communication Awards maintain their fiercely protected independence and focus on the big issues, while encouraging more entries from communications providers across the globe, both large and small, to ensure the awards can truly claim 'world' status.
Etisalat is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world and the largest operator in the Arab world headquartered in the UAE (as per FT500 March 31, 2008). Etisalat operates in 17 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, servicing over 74m customers out of a total population that exceeds 1.6bn people.