Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited, EMTS previously trading as ‘Etisalat Nigeria’ and now 9mobile requires an estimated $100million to perfect the complete reengineering of its network.
Although the new management team led by Mr Boye Olusanya was noncommittal at the ceremony to unveil its new logo in Lagos, it was reliably gathered that in order to achieve this seamless process of rebranding the cost implication will run into millions of dollars.
However, speaking in an interview with The Nation, Mr. Olusola Teniola, National President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) said, “Full rebranding of Etisalat over the period under new management can be from $100m and above. However, if 9mobile is viewed as a temporary brand name that is in transition awaiting another buyer, then in my estimates, a figure much lower than 100m can be used to rebrand 9mobile over all its customer care centers and kiosks, stationary, bill boards and a very light touch of below the line awareness that doesn’t include SIM card / recharge card rebranding.”
The ATCON boss was also quick to add that the potential in the industry is enormous and any new investor has the opportunity to define and shape the future of this dynamic industry.
“A lot of innovative solutions are waiting to be introduced to totally transform the way the existing value chain has been created to address the voice market and needs to be changed to truly address the digital realm.”
Echoing similar sentiment, the Managing Director/CEO Prima Garnet Africa, Laolu Akinwunmi who acknowledged the fact that the cost of rebranding the network could not be summed up without proper due diligence analysis, said depending on the scope and breadth, a rebranding exercise will not come really cheap.
Akinwunmi who is also former Chairman Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) however admitted that the cost of rebranding will be in the region of several millions of dollars.
It may be recalled that Etisalat Nigeria ran into problems over a seven-year loan facility of $1.2billion from 13 local banks and their foreign counterparts to refinance a $650 million loan as well as the expansion of its network which it could not redeem due to a dollar shortfall in Nigeria’s financial system.
The 13 local banks involved in the loan deal include: Zenith Bank, GT Bank, First Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Union Bank.
However, the Central Bank of Nigeria had to wade in following the exit of Etisalat lenders and Abu Dhabi state investment fund Mubadala, the second-largest shareholder in the business, which pulled its investment of the company.