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5 July 2010
Etisalat and Du to compete on fixed line services

UAE telcos "technically ready" for fixed competition, says regulator

UAE telcos Etisalat and Du are "technically ready" to share their fixed line infrastructure, paving the way for open competition in the fixed sector between the operators, according to the UAE's telecom regulator.

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) confirmed that both operators will be able to provide all fixed-line telephone, internet and television services "everywhere in the UAE" within nine months.

H.E. Mohamad Al Ghanim, director general, TRA, said that both operators had completed negotiations on "complex technical and operational details of the network sharing arrangements" and were in the process of testing their networks and systems interfaces.

"Users of fixed telecommunications services across the UAE will be able to access services from both operators once these are commercially launched in the coming months," Al Ghanim said.

Osman Sultan, CEO, Du, said the development was "a major step in the liberalisation of the UAE's telecommunications sector".

"All consumers in the country will have an opportunity to choose their preferred operator for internet, voice and TV services," he said. "Competition will no doubt foster growth of the telecommunications industry, act as a catalyst for the overall economic development of the country and above all, bring better value for customers."

Nasser bin Obood, acting CEO at Etisalat, said the operator was looking forward to competing for new customers within the Dubai free zones and new residential areas.

He added that Etisalat was in the process of completing its fibre optic network, which now covers most UAE households outside of Du's fixed coverage areas.


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