DUBAI (Reuters) – Emirates Telecommunications Corp ETEL.AD (Etisalat) said on Sunday it would give subscribers special roaming rates in Egypt and Saudi Arabia in a move that could drive revenues of the largest publicly traded Arab telecom firm.
The new service will be available to Etisalat’s UAE customers using the networks of Egyptian unit Etisalat Egypt and Saudi affiliate Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Etisalat said in a statement.
Etisalat Chief Executive Mohammed al-Qamzi has said the firm wanted to boost revenues by offering special cross rates to subscribers in different countries.
Many Egyptian expatriates, for instance, work in the booming Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy.
Like other telecom firms in the world’s biggest oil-exporting region, Etisalat has been expanding outside of its home market, buoyed by an economic boom fuelled by a more than seven-fold rise in oil prices since 2002.
The firm posted a record profit of 2.12 billion dirhams ($577.3 million) in the first quarter and is expected to make 2.5 billion dirhams in the second quarter, according to the average forecast of analysts in a Reuters net profit survey last month.