Our History
Our tradition of service and innovation, catering to the telecommunication needs of individuals and businesses in the region.

Our tradition of service and innovation

Etisalat has served the telecommunications need of individuals and businesses in the UAE and Gulf Region since 1976. Over that time, we have built a modern telecom infrastructure, established ourselves as a technology leader, and continued to expand our reach not only in through innovative services for our UAE customer base but through our ever growing international markets.

Milestones

Some of the most significant milestones in our more than 30-year history of helping our customers make vital connections in their lives and business include:

1976

The Emirates Telecommunication Corporation is founded.

Milestone

  • Birth of Etisalat

1982-1989

1982

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation launches the Middle East's first mobile network.

1983

The ownership structure changes - United Arab Emirates government gets a 60% share in the company and the remaining 40% is publicly traded.

1989

Etisalat establishes the Etisalat University College to create a talent pool of engineers to drive its future growth.

1991-1999


1991 - The UAE central government issues Federal Law No. 1, which gives the corporation the right to provide wired and wireless telecommunications services in the country and between UAE and other countries.

1994 - The Middle East's first GSM service is introduced in the UAE. Etisalat also launches Emirates Data Clearing House, providing a complete solution to GSM operators.

1995 - Internet services are rolled out across the country, another first in the region. Etisalat opens its SIM card factory, Ebtikar, a leading provider of smart card solutions.

2000


Mobile subscribers exceed the 1 million mark as mobile data services is introduced using eWap.

Etisalat introduces the E-Vision brand for its cable TV services.

Etisalat Academy is established to provide professional and technical training.

2002-2006


2002 - Etisalat subscribers reach 2 million.
It develops its mobile network to offer GPRS.

2003 - One million more customers added in the year bringing the total number of subscribers for Etisalat's UAE operations to 3 million.
Etisalat launches the Middle East's first 3G network and offers MMS services to its customers.

2004 - Etisalat wins second license to operate in Saudi Arabia thereby introducing Etihad Etisalat - Mobily. It also buys a stake in Canar - a new fixedline operator in Sudan.

2007-2009


2007 - Etisalat acquires a stake in a green-field operator in Nigeria, the largest and fastest growing market in Africa. It also invests in Excelcomindo, one of the leading mobile service providers in Indonesia.
UAE mobile subscribers exceed 6.7 million and Internet penetration crosses 60% mark.
Etisalat introduces mobile TV.

2008 - Etisalat successfully takes a stake in Swan Telecom, which is later renamed Etisalat DB. This ensures Etisalat's entrance to India consolidating its presence in the Asian subcontinent.
Etisalat completes the rollout of a nationwide fibre optic backbone over which next generation services will be provided. Etisalat is named largest carrier in the Middle East for the first time in the Financial Times Top 500 List.

2010

Etisalat deploys new services across its fibre network including 3DTV. This makes the UAE one of the first five countries in the world to offer this service. Etisalat also starts offering faster mobile broadband speeds using HSPA+ and announces commercial trials of LTE.

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