Du CEO eyes equal market share with Etisalat

Du, the UAE’s second largest telecom operator, is aiming to increase its market share to equal its biggest competitor in the next few years, its CEO has told Arabian Business.

Osman Sultan said growth in the UAE’s mobile sector was becoming increasingly difficult but du would continue to grow its customer base until it reached “comparity” with Etisalat.

‘I don’t see any reason why we should stop until we reach comparity with the other player so that gives us the potential to grow in the coming years,” he said.

‘’Obviously it isn’t going to happen overnight; every point of market share that you gain is more and more difficult. I don’t think how quickly [it happens] is important. We are committed to making this happen while not compromising on the profitability of this company.”

The UAE has one of the world’s highest mobile penetration rates at 208 percent. du, which was launched in 2006 as part of a government plan to boost competition in the telecommunications sector, has 37 percent of the mobile market in the UAE.

The firm gained 182,100 subscribers by in the second quarter of this year, bringing its total active mobile subscribers to almost four million.

On Monday Etisalat, the UAE’s largest telephone company, reported a 23 percent fall in third quarter net profit as it seeks expansion abroad and competition from du intensified. The number of Etisalat users increased less than one percent from the second quarter, according to a statement.

Du is due to announce its third quarter results at the beginning of November, Sultan said.