In 2007, Etisalat reported annual Net Revenues of US $5,815million and Net Profits of US$1,831million. (As at July 14 2008, Etisalat reported Net Revenues of US$ 3,390m and Net Profits of US$ 1,394m).
It offers a variety of hi-tech complementary services to the telecommunications industry including managerial and technical training , SIM card manufacturing, payment solutions, clearing house services, peering, voice and data transit, and submarine and land cable services.
Etisalat is also the major internet hub in the Middle East, responsible for internet, voice, mobile broadband, roaming and corporate data services. It is the largest carrier of international voice traffic in the Middle East and Africa and the 12th largest voice carrier in the world. It is the only comprehensive provider of carrier and wholesale services in the region. Etisalat has 510 roaming agreements connecting 186 countries enabling Blackberry, 3G and voice roaming. It also has Points of Presence (PoP) in New York, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Singapore providing a truly global reach.
Etisalat is a major investor in Thuraya, one of the world’s leading satellite geo-mobile communication systems providing coverage across two thirds of the planet’s surface.
On June 4th 2004, the Etisalat network got hacked by an 18 years old Iranian student, Amir Mohammad Siahpolo, who was studying IT at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. He penetrated Etisalat's main server. Although no data was removed or changed, he was arrested by police 2 days later. At the time of his arrest, he said "I just wanted to reach the questions of my exam that were available on the website of my university." He volunteered to treat the network problem, and the offer was accepted.
Etisalat was presented with the ‘Best New Entrant’ award for its Egyptian operations at the Comms MEA Awards ceremony in 2007. Etisalat was selected by a panel of experts from KPMG, the Arab Advisors Group and Oliver Wyman, Dubai.
Canar, which was launched on Nov 27, 2005 uses Next Generation Network (NGN) and Wireless Loop (WLL), its products and services include voice, data, internet and multi media services. Canar is in the forefront of operators being one of the few to deploy NGN as the base of the network and is one of the first to do so in Africa.
ZPesa is the mobile banking service enables its customers to send and receive money throughout the country using their mobile phones.
ZPesa aims at providing secure, affordable and convenient money transfer solutions and banking services to the unbanked and underbanked segments of the market.
Zantel is the first mobile phone company in the country to provide mobile banking.
The service is designed so that it can provide banking services for those who don’t have access to traditional banking facilities. Zpesa will enable customers to send, receive and save money simply by using their mobile phones.
To receive money one will simply have to go to any ZPesa agent with his phone and receive hard cash.Apart from sending and receiving money, the service will enable people to securely save in their virtual ZPesa accounts and avoid the risk of losing their money. “For example if you are traveling upcountry and you don’t want to carry cash, you can just buy your e-units and collect your money when you get to your destination.
In 2008, Moov Ivory Coast launched the first nationwide cell-phone coverage on using Thuraya satellite phone technology.
It is the first time that such a service has been offered in sub-Saharan Africa, outside South Africa.
They expressed hope the expanded coverage of the satellite service would help boost Moov to the No. 1 spot in Ivory Coast, overtaking France Telecom unit Orange
Moov executives said the price of a call on the satellite service would be around 190 CFA francs a minute to the Moov network and 290 francs a minute to another domestic network. Satellite phone calls would typically cost 1,000 CFA francs a minute, they said.
In February 2008, His Excellency Dr. Boni Yayi, President of Benin, honoured Etisalat chairman, Mohammad Hassan Omran during a ceremony to celebrate Etisalat’s efforts in developing and promoting the telecommunications sector in Benin. Etisalat operates in Benin under the Moov brand.
PT Excelcomindo Pratama Tbk.(“XL” or the “Company”) was established on 6 October 1989 under the name of PT Grahametropolitan Lestari with its main business being in trading and general services.
XL started its commercial operations on 8 October 1996, by providing cellular mobile telephony services using the GSM 900 technology. Later, XL was also awarded the Cellular Mobile Network License for DCS 1800, and the Closed Regular Network License, as well as licenses for Internet and Service Provider (ISP) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). In 2006, XL obtained 3G Cellular Mobile Network License and started to launch commercially in September 2006.
Until now, XL has built more than 13.000 Base Transceiver Station (BTS) towers all around Indonesia to serve more than 22 million customers, and XL is committed to continously strengthen its quality and coverage in the future, in order to serve customers communication needs anytime, anywhere.
By the end of first quarter of 2007, more than 156 XL Centers are available throughout Indonesia, supported by the Contact Center services who are ready at 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In 2006, XL obtained the 3G license and then launched innovative 3G-based services. Not just that, XL is also launched Video Contact Center, a 3G-based technology customer support.
Etisalat entered Afghanistan, when it won the license to become the fourth GSM operator in May 2006 for AED147.3 million (USD40.1million). The company began operations in August 2007.
Etisalat Afghanistan is using training facilities in the UAE, Pakistan and China.
Etisalat Afghanistan has contributed $8,000 to the Ministry of Communications as part of a donation to the Ministry of Education to purchase computers and other ICT equipment for a much needed students in Afghanistan.
Etisalat operates under the '786' prefix in Afghanistan. "786" is the total value of the letters of "Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim". In Arabic there are two methods of arranging letters. One method is the most common method known as the alphabetical method. Here we begin with Alif, ba, ta, tha etc. The other method is known as the Abjad method or ordinal method. In this method each letter has an arithmetic value assigned to it from one to one thousand. The letters are arranged in the following order: Abjad, Hawwaz, Hutti, Kalaman, Sa'fas, Qarshat, Sakhaz, Zazagh. This arrangement was done, most probably in the 3rd century of Hijrah during the 'Abbasid period, following other Semitic languages such as Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac, Chaldean etc.
If you take the numeric values of all the letters of the Basmalah, according to the Abjad order, the total will be 786. In the Indian subcontinent the Abjad numerals became quite popular. Some people, mostly in India and Pakistan, use 786 as a substitute for Bismillah. They write this number to avoid writing the name of Allah or the Qur'anic ayah on ordinary papers. This tradition is not from the time of the Prophet -peace be upon him- or his Sahabah. It developed much later, perhaps during the later 'Abbasid period. We do not know of any reputable Imams or Jurists who used this number instead of the Bismillah.
To home users Etisalat currently offers:
Etisalat also operates iZone, a system of Wi-Fi hotspots in central locations, such as shopping malls, restaurants, and sheesha cafes. iZone can be utilized by either purchasing prepaid cards, which offers access rates of AED 15/hour (about USD 4.5/hour), or if one holds an existing account with the operator, paying AED 3/hour (dial-up account holders), or AED 6/hour (broadband account holders).
Dial-up and ISDN Internet access services are billed by the hour, whereas the Domestic/Residential Cable and DSL connections have a fixed monthly rate depending on speed. Other Internet links, aimed at business users, have traffic utilization plans and relatively high rates when exceeding the allocated bandwidth quota. This has caused bad publicity for Etisalat and is a major source of criticism.
These are divided underneath Etisalat's management structure with eight non-core service companies falling under the stewardship of Etisalat Services.These are: E-Marine, Ebtikar, E-Special Projects, E-Real Estate, E-Facilities Management, Directory Enquiries, EDCH and the Etisalat Academy.
Under the management of Etisalat UAE comes Global Carrier & Wholesale Services, E-Vision and Enterprise Solutions (formerly E-Company).
As of 2008, Etisalat is undergoing restructuring that will see only three main business units operating - Etisalat, Etisalat Services and Etisalat International. As part of the program, the telecom has launched a re-branding campaign, releasing a new corporate logo and identity in May 2006.
Etisalat implements Internet content filtering, denying user access to websites that is banned in the United Emirates. Instead of the sought website users receive a page stating that access to the content is denied due to its nature contravening "the religious, cultural, political, and moral values of the United Arab Emirates."
The type of content that is restricted by Etisalat includes:
The use of content filtering has been mandated by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates, which is the telecoms regulatory body in the country. Under TRA orders etisalat also blocks Voice over IP service providers, such as VoIP. Skype is one such service blocked by Etisalat. Many see this action as a move to protect the revenue streams of the telecommunications industry, as it is a main contributor to the UAE's Federal budget.
There are claims that Etisalat breaks the rules of net neutrality by throttling peer-to-peer, gaming and other types of network traffic in order to reduce the load on its oversubscribed international links. The effect of this interference is most noticeable during weekends or periods of high network use.
The overall efficiency of the country-wide content filtering is unclear, as many of the technologically savvy users have discovered tools and methods to bypass the content filter.
The TRA ordered etisalat/du to unblock over 1000 websites.
Etisalat has been criticized for many reason over the past years. Some of the issues include: