January 04, 2011

Prepay Nation Announces Partnership with Etisalat Afghanistan

Etisalat to offer international mobile top-up through Prepay Nation’s North American and European retail channels

January 4, 2011— Prepay Nation, one of the fastest growing providers of international airtime transfers for prepaid mobile operators in emerging nations, has announced an alliance with the largest mobile service provider in the Middle East, Etisalat. Through the partnership, individuals living in the US, Canada, and Europe will be able to transfer of small values of airtime to Etisalat Afghanistan customers in the form of airtime minutes, from a diverse array of convenient retail locations.

The partnership will provide the North America- and Europe-based friends, coworkers, and relatives of Etisalat Afghanistan subscribers with access to instant International Mobile Top Up (IMTU) service through Prepay Nation’s retail distribution network. The service provides a vital avenue through which customers can support their colleagues and loved ones in Afghanistan, instantaneously replenishing their mobile airtime minutes from a nearby partner retailer.

“Etisalat Afghanistan is a pioneer in the market, and we are thrilled to be partnering with them,” said Sarah Feidt, Head of Marketing at Prepay Nation. “Our services bring great value to mobile customers and to their colleagues and loved ones abroad, and Etisalat’s mandate to connect and invigorate Afghanistan’s mobile ecosystem fits perfectly with the unique international connectivity we offer.”

“In regions where international currency transfer can be costly, cumbersome, and often impossible, nothing makes more sense than to send instant support in the form of mobile minutes that everyone needs and uses,” Feidt added. “We’re excited to bring that option to individuals connected to Etisalat Afghanistan subscribers.”

One of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, United Arab Emirates-based Etisalat is the leading operator in the Middle East and Africa, servicing over 100 million customers in 18 countries. The company began operations in Afghanistan in August 2007, and is the fastest growing mobile phone company in the nation. Etisalat provides voice and data services in 31 Afghani provinces and 196 districts, with more than 12,000 retail outlets, and has recently signed a deal with the Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to invest in mobile infrastructure development and provide services in 17 rural Districts.

Etisalat has embraced its mission to play an active role in the growth and prosperity of Afghanistan, from both a mobile and a social perspective. They have established a number of community engagement activities, including sponsoring both national and grassroots sports programs, and supporting a variety of health and educational initiatives. Their division staff comprises 90% local Afghans, and they have recently launched their Employee Succession Plan with the intention to train and develop over 400 Afghan nationals into senior management positions.

“This partnership is one more way that we are investing in the rebuilding and development of Afghanistan,” said Ebrahim Ali Al Hashmi, Marketing Director of Etisalat Afghanistan. “Creating opportunities for Afghans is our grounding principle here, as part of the UAE promise of long-term partnership to transform this magnificent country into a modern, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan. Linking up with Prepay Nation will allow us to connect with individuals abroad who are eager to support their loved
ones here, and in doing so, support the vital growth of the nation’s infrastructure and economy.”

Afghanistan, with over 16.8 million mobile phone subscribers, has 63% mobile connectivity penetration and 80% population coverage. Etisalat Afghanistan’s subscriber base represents over 24% of the market. To learn more about the company, visit www.etisalat.af.

About Etisalat

Etisalat is a comprehensive telecommunications provider offering a one-stop shop for mobile and fixed-line voice and data services to individuals, enterprises and international telecommunications companies, ISPs , content providers and mobile operators. It offers a variety of hi-tech complimentary services to the telecommunications industry including managerial and technical training, SIM card manufacturing, payment solutions, clearing house services, peering, voice and data transit, and submarine and land cable services. Etisalat is also the major hub in the Middle East, for internet, voice, mobile broadband, broadcast, roaming and corporate data services, with an extensive regional and intercontinental network. It is the largest carrier of international voice traffic in the Middle East and Africa and the 12th largest voice carrier in the world. Etisalat has 525 roaming agreements connecting 185 countries enabling BlackBerry, 3G and voice roaming. In 2009 the Etisalat group received seventeen industry awards and including three for innovation and three for customer service. It has been named ‘Best Overall Operator’ in the Middle East six times since 2006 and was named Best International Carrier at the World Communications Awards in 2008. For more information, visit www.etisalat.ae