How Etisalat evolved to 9mobile in Nigeria

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In the dynamic world of telecommunications, Nigeria has witnessed the rise of several key players. One name that stands out is 9mobile, a company that has undergone significant changes while maintaining its commitment to providing top-notch services to millions of subscribers it has in her custody. 9mobile is a privately held Nigerian limited liability company.

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9mobile Nigeria History

FoundedEstablished in October 2008
Official Web
HeadquarterBanana Island, Plot 19, Zone L, Ikoyi, Lagos.
TypePrivately Held
Current CEOJuergen Peschel
Country of OriginUnited Arab Emirates
Origin of Current CompanyNigeria

Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd (EMTS), operating under the name Etisalat, is a privately held Nigerian company. Back in 2007, EMTS secured a Unified Access Service License issued by the Nigerian Communications Commission. This comprehensive license not only includes spectrum allocations in the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency bands but also authorizes EMTS to provide a range of services, including Fixed Telephony (both wired and wireless), Digital Mobile Services, International Gateway Services, and National/Regional Long Distance Services.

EMTS initiated its commercial operations in Nigeria in October 2008. By 2010, the company further strengthened its services by acquiring Alheri Engineering’s 3G license. The following year, in 2011, it introduced EasyBlaze, a broadband mobile Internet service, which rapidly gained popularity among subscribers. EMTS was committed to expanding its network coverage to encompass the entire nation in the coming years. But…

Etisalat Rebranded to 9mobile

Etisalat took out a loan in 2015 to fund a massive network restoration and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria. As a result, the company managed to increase its customer base to 23 million.

In March 2017, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) initiated in talks to halt the creditors’ takeover plans of Etisalat and to restructure the company’s outstanding $1.2 billion loan. Etisalat, which was part of an Abu Dhabi telecoms group, disengaged from the company on July 17, 2017, due to the unresolved debt issue. Additionally, they requested the gradual phasing out of the company’s brand from the country within a three-week timeframe.

The company underwent a rebranding process, revealing its new identity in July 2017. It introduced the name 9mobile along with a fresh logo and brand image that resonated with the bold and creative spirit shared with its dedicated customers, especially the vibrant youth demographic.

Facing the Fierce Competition in Telecom Industry

EMTS, operating under the name 9mobile, boasted 21 million subscribers at the time of its rebranding, despite prior subscriber losses. However, in the subsequent years, the brand witnessed a further decline. In 2019, 9mobile secured a $230 million loan, primarily earmarked for expanding its 4G network with the aim of attracting more users. Surprisingly, instead of growth, the operator’s subscriber base dwindled to 12 million by the first quarter of 2020.

However, according to a May 2022 update from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), 9mobile Nigeria has further increased it’s subscribers to about 12.6 million users and 6.19% of the market for all telephone services.

9mobile Announced A New CEO

Hakeem Belo-Osagie, the promoter and chairman of the board for Etisalat Nigeria, stepped down from his role. As part of a rebranding initiative, the company was renamed 9mobile Nigeria. Boye Olusanya, a key member of the team involved in overseeing Celtel Nigeria’s (now Airtel Nigeria) transition, was appointed as the Managing Director of the company.

By June 2020, 9mobile had a new leader named Alan Sinfield. The new CEO is veteran telecom executive. Sinfield has a remarkable background, having served as the CEO of several telecom firms in practically every continent. Sinfield’s important ambition for 9mobile was to make a successful shift to the data and digital services components.

The telecommunications company made significant strides in Nigeria, becoming the first to offer customized mobile numbers through the “0809uchoose” campaign. It was also an early adopter of 4G LTE services in 2019, signaling its commitment to Sinfied\’s ambitious vision. However, stiff competition emerged when two other Nigerian telecom giants, MTN and Glo, announced their own 4G broadband services in the same year.

Nevertheless, Juergen Peschel assumed the role of 9mobile’s CEO, succeeding Alan Sinfield. Juergen, who joined 9mobile in January 2021, collaborates with the Executive Management Team to facilitate a seamless transition and enhance operational efficiency in alignment with the brand\’s vision.

Company Commitment

Throughout its journey, 9mobile maintained a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. The company focused on understanding and meeting the needs of its subscribers, which played a crucial role in its success.

Beyond the basics of voice and data services, 9mobile offered a variety of value-added services. These included mobile banking solutions, caller Nevertheless, Juergen Peschel assumed the role of 9mobile’s CEO, succeeding Alan Sinfield. Juergen, who joined 9mobile in January 2021, collaborates with the Executive Management Team to facilitate a seamless transition and enhance operational efficiency in alignment with the brand’s vision. tones, and content services that allowed subscribers to personalize their mobile experience


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