After a short but momentous time of soul-searching for a fitting new corporate identity, Nigeria’s fourth mobile operator, Etisalat Nigeria, well known for pursuit of quality on its network, formally unveils its new name: 9mobile.
The formal unveiling takes place at a press conference on July 19, 2017 in Lagos, Nigeria.
The solemn but momentous occasion for the unveiling of the new identity tagged ‘low-key’ because, after all, it is ‘business as usual’ puts to rest weeks of speculations on the new name for the company that launched in 2008 with an impressive 0809ja-for-life signature tune.
The new name comes on the heels of amicable resolution of name-change as Emirates Telecommunications Corporation of the United Arab Emirates, which owns the Etisalat brand name, has withdrawn its equity holding in the Nigerian network operator.
Adopting the new name and corporate identity also puts the company on a sure footing to pursue its core businesses of providing quality data and voice telecommunications services to its teeming subscribers as well as servicing and repayment of what is left of the $1.2 billion loan it received from a consortium of 13 banks in 2013.
The repayment and servicing of the loan had brought disagreements between the network operator and its creditor-banking consortium, as the company, owing to the unfavourable operating environment occasioned by the recession in Nigeria, was unable to meet repayment schedules in February this year.
However, thanks to the intervention of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as mediations by many well-meaning stakeholders, the crisis which had resulted from the misunderstanding, was amicably resolved, paving way for the company to peaceably continue its operations, the name change being a further fall out of that amicable resolution.
Indeed, the figure 9 has become so synonymous with the network that the new name must have come naturally. Its network code is 0809; it launched with the 0809ja, now it is announcing the new identity it has picked 9mobile on the 19th of the month! Perhaps for the high expectations from the public for the company to quickly present its new identity, who knows, the network might well have delayed the unveiling till September, the 9th month of the year!
In a statement titled “Etisalat Nigeria is Now 9mobile”, signed by the company’s chief executive officer, Mr. Boye Olusanya, and issued in Lagos July 16, 2017, the operator stated:
“Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (EMTS), which previously traded as ‘Etisalat Nigeria’ wishes to inform its over 20 million subscribers, government, regulatory agencies and all relevant stakeholder groups that the telecommunication company has changed its name to 9mobile as a further testament of our unwavering commitment to ensuring business continuity as Nigeria’s fourth largest telecom operator.
“Our new trading name, 9mobile represents our 0809ja heritage, our 9ja-centricity, and our evolution over 9 years of operations in Nigeria. Although our trading name has changed, we remain true to the same values on which our company was built.
“A strong and resilient Nigerian spirit continues to reside in us, uniting us with you our subscribers and we are confident that you will continue to believe in our new brand, which strongly reflects our innate creativity and youthfulness.
“Furthermore, this rebrand is a testament to our dynamism, responsiveness and agility as a business, while we leverage the power of technology to deliver innovative products and services that meet your needs. Our confidence in our ability to continue to make this happen is bolstered by the sheer determination, commitment and passion of our people to do more; and continue delivering excellent service.
“In order to ensure the change of name is delivered efficiently and responsibly, we will take a measured approach to the migration to the new brand over the next few months. Therefore as we go through this transition, our esteemed subscribers we ask for your patience and reaffirm our commitment to remain a listening brand. We will continue to innovate, support, and empower you to do more – whether as an individual or a business.
“To our business partners, your unwavering belief in the strength of our brand inspires us to do more. We will remain committed to working together and exploring possibilities to achieve our mutual goals; and to our stakeholders, we thank you for your abiding faith in us. We will ensure that our core values of Innovation, Customer-centricity, and superior Quality of Service remain the pillars upon which we operate.
“The soul of our business remains authentically Nigerian.
“We are Here for You, Here for 9ja!”