(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Etisalat, the leading telecom operator in the Middle East and Africa, saw accelerated growth from the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) market in 2013, due to the revamped packages offering flexibility, value for money and providing access to the latest devices without any up-front costs.
In the UAE, SMEs contribute up to 40 per cent of the GDP and account for 92 per cent of the country's total registered companies. The sector has seen continuous development, contributing significantly to employment and economic activity in Dubai and the UAE.
Etisalat this year was keen on tapping the immense potential of the growing segment by presenting itself as the best choice for business users, with the launch of its revitalised business packages. The business ultimate packages offered four tariffs, each offering different amounts of local and international calls, text messages, local data as well as the latest smart phones at zero up-front cost. The tariffs can be further customised through the purchase of add-ons providing cheaper mobile data usage options. An alternative Business Mobile package offers a far greater degree of flexibility in the costs of pre-pay mobile phone for business users.
All the bundles comprise of local and international calls, SMSs, local data and smartphones at zero up-front costs. The latest Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE, BlackBerry Q10 and iPhone 5 were offered exclusively with this plan for the first month. International calling add-ons were offered at rates as low as 50 fils per minute on a per second billing basis. Users also benefited from per second billing on both local and international calls in the package.
John Lincoln, senior vice president of business marketing etisalat, said: "The SME sector in UAE has grown exponentially in terms of size of business and contribution towards the country's economy. Many of the local businesses are looking at the next level of growth from outside UAE. This requires support from the government as well as improved connectivity and communication to all their stakeholders."
"Etisalat has always supported the segment with the launch of packages that suit these dynamic business requirements. In the coming year, we see growth potential from the SME business segment and will therefore continue to invest in launching new services and enhancing the network," he said.
The first inexpensive data roaming package offered a new business roaming data packages aimed at frequent business travellers from the UAE. This was in two varieties: 'Corporate Pooled' and 'Per SIM.' Both options were designed to ensure transparency and predictability of telecommunication costs to business customers and enable businesses to proactively manage their international data roaming more effectively. The launch of the new tiered business prepaid plans provided a comprehensive multi-levelled set of prepaid offers for business users, with five different plans. The plans were particularly well-suited for SMEs and businesses operating in the real estate, hospitality and construction sectors, which have large workforces, with employees that hold different levels of responsibility.
The new 'Business Tablet' plan offered a flexible device and data bundles allowing all levels of business users, from large enterprises to small businesses, access to the latest tablets without any up-front expense. Moving forward in 2013, etislalat will continue to launch more collaborative solutions, providing customers an increasing range of devices to choose from and to bring the best telecommunication services to the UAE.