Current Issue 52
Emtel may be one of the oldest operators in Africa but remains one of the most forward-thinking, epitomised by its recent service diversifications and technological enhancements
Today’s Convenience Through Tomorrow’s Technology
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Donovan Smith
For more than a quarter of a century, Emtel has established itself as a leading light in modern and futuristic provision of telecoms services, and continues to thrive within this image to this day with a current drive towards 4G technologies and innovative value-add services.
Established in 1989 as the first telecoms operator in the southern hemisphere, the Currimjee Jeewanjee Group-owned Company has made a name for itself for being the first to the punch; an accolade evident across the then-groundbreaking launch of 2G, 3G and, more recently, 4G networks.
Putting Mauritius on the map from a technological perspective, the Company has since evolved into a one-stop shop for ICT solutions offering a wide range of products and services across individual, enterprise and residential domains.
“Emtel’s innovations include the first 3G network in Africa in 2004,” the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Teddy Bhullar affirms. “Today, with 4G and FTTA (fibre-through-the-air) services it is one of the most technologically advanced operators in Africa. Emtel also offers international connectivity solutions via undersea optical fibre and state-of-the-art Tier 3 data centre services.
“We also offer a complete range of enterprise services and high speed internet access through fibre-through-the-air technology that allows users to access internet at speeds of up to 30 Mbps.”
The ongoing evolution continues via a comprehensive series of investments into the Company’s network infrastructure, as well as its logistics, warehousing and data centre hubs; all to facilitate such diversification of services to the end consumers.
“Last year, Emtel entered in a strategic partnership with Bharti Airtel and the past 12 months have been really exciting for Emtel,” Bhullar continues. “We have entered new business segments of home internet through Airbox (FTTA) and mobile financial services with Emtel Cash.
“We have been working to provide more affordable services in the space of data access and value to customers in their monthly spends and consumers are showing tremendous hunger for mobile data across devices.”
In recent times, significant investments have been made into data centres, complementing the progression into 4G and significant developments within the enterprise space.
Having such a diverse array of products and services naturally lends itself to such a plethora of varying consumers, with Emtel subsequently able to be flexible and customise its offering to form the best bespoke option for each customer; especially within the aforementioned business domain.
The inception of a PRI fixed telephony service for businesses kick-started this initiative back in 2014 and set the tone for the rapid development of the Emtel portfolio that has been witnessed since.
Epitomising this commitment to value-add services is its Airbox product, facilitating unlimited high speed internet, fixed home phone functionality, Wi-Fi, 1GB of email storage capacity, and 24-seven customer care.
Bringing such levels of technology to the table is one thing, but instilling it in as many regions of Mauritius as possible is another, and the Company has gone to great lengths in forming a presence across both urban and rural areas of the country; especially through Airbox.
“Additionally, keeping up with these changing consumer needs, we have introduced in all our data packs, free access to social media usage on Facebook and Whatsapp,” Bhullar says. “This has been one of our key offerings this year while we have also introduced 100 percent credit in key recharges which can be used for accessing all voice and data services.
“Enterprise solutions and service offerings to consumers have been revisited and we are getting tremendous response to our offerings.”
Other innovative variations on contemporary tech necessities include Emtel’s own take on cloud technologies, enterprise intranets, M2M functionality and, of course, Emtel Cash, which the Company strives to hone in order to enable consumers to use their mobiles for financial transactions across the board.
Affordable, accessible and available
In view of providing the best products and what the Company calls ‘new-age value-add’ services across its customer base, Emtel continuously demonstrates its passion in adopting ‘Total Quality’ principles, benchmarked against the very best global standards.
Becoming ISO 9001 certified by the British Standards Institution, the Company’s pledge to continually improve the effectiveness of its quality management system is expressed through its official quality policy, and is compounded by the Company’s commitment to meeting the most modern market demands.
“We are focused towards expanding our footprint and capacities in the Airbox business. At the same time, a faster rollout for 4G is being done this year and soon we shall have the island fully connected on high speed internet,” Bhullar anticipates. “We are making huge investments as per market requirements and our enterprise business is also poised for a big leap with additional investments in data centres and cloud services.
“We also have a strategic partnership with Airtel which enables us to get access to best-in-class practices across human resources and knowledge sharing across various streams of business. This is showing tremendous results with manpower getting access to training programmes and workshops across the world.”
Looking forward, it is this platform of internal operational excellence that will enable Emtel to maintain its position at the head of the pack in Mauritius, while carrying through on the promises, visions and missions laid out when the business first began more than 25 years ago.
Bhullar concludes: “Innovation has been the key driving force since inception and we have brought the best consumer technologies in the world to Mauritius. Our product and service offerings will be tuned to consumer needs to offer them the best value for money.
“A huge emphasis is laid on delivering customer delight but we are also committed towards the environment, healthcare and poverty alleviation projects as well and have a large number of projects under which we systematically work towards giving back to the society for these corporate social responsibility activities.
“Ultimately though, we want to be the preferred provider for enterprise solutions and data services, the leader in the mobile data market and to bring to the consumers the best offerings in entertainment, in-line with their unique needs.”