Total group subscribers of Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) have reached 150 million across 15 markets, Gulf News cites the company’s CEO Ahmad Abdul Karim Julfar as saying at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Etisalat reported a customer base of around 143 million across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa at the end of September 2013, up from 139 million at the end of 2012, while its footprint is set to widen following the acquisition of a controlling stake in Maroc Telecom for around EUR4 billion (USD5.5 billion). Maroc Telecom is leading operator in all segments in Morocco and owns controlling stakes in four sub-Saharan incumbents – SOTELMA (Malitel) in Mali, Mauritania’s Mauritel, Gabon Telecom (Libertis) and Onatel in Burkina Faso – covering a population of over 70 million, and boasting a combined 30.5 million mobile, 1.6 million fixed line and 683,000 broadband subscribers at end-September 2013. Speaking on Etisalat’s domestic operations, Julfar said: ‘Today, Etisalat plays a key role in the mobile government strategy of the UAE, and is on course to achieve 100% fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) penetration — a world first.’
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