Etisalat, du network sharing talks complete - TRA

Regulator says customers will be able to choose on services 'in coming months'.

Etisalat and du have completed talks to share their networks and new commercial operations will be launched "in the coming months", the UAE's telecom regulator said on Saturday.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said in a statement that the two operators were "technically ready to open their fixed-line networks for competition" but did not give a date for the network sharing to start.

Under the new agreement, both operators will be able to currently provide all fixed-line services, telephone and internet services, and in the near future television services, everywhere in the UAE.

The move, the TRA said, was in line with the "strategies enabling competition in the telecom market".

Mohamad Al Ghanim, director general of the TRA, said: "The step from Etisalat and du to provide each other with access to their fixed telecommunications infrastructure will allow customers to select service provider in every household and business across the entire nation.

"The parties have now concluded the negotiations on complex technical and operational details of the network sharing arrangements and are currently in the process of undertaking comprehensive testing of the 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."

Etisalat and du have been negotiating an agreement under the supervision and guidance of the TRA to allow them to provide voice, internet, data and TV services across each other's networks.

Nasser bin Obood, acting CEO at Etisalat, said: "We are looking forward to competing for new customers within the Dubai free zones and new residential areas and are confident that the heightened customer experience that we are able to offer, in addition to our high value products and services, will be extremely effective in growing our market share in fixed line services."

Osman Sultan, CEO of du, added: "With this current development, all consumers in the country will have an opportunity to choose their preferred operator for internet, voice and TV services.

"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."

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Posted by: JK

@BB, actually the new price is quite competitive. $70 you can get tv, internet and phone. While in Canada for $70 you only get internet and phone. Speed are the same. But i agree on you, once du has settled and established, it would be nice to have a third operation from international market.

Posted by: BB

These two operators have agreed to share the cake. No big deal. JK is right customers do hate both operators as they act with the same level of incompetence and arrogance in their respective monopoly areas. What is needed is a third player that comes from a mature market and understands the customers value. Du new price for a so called 8MB is still 3 times more expensive than any EU or USA operator for lower quality internet speed. Small boys games still on.

Posted by: JK

Generally, Du customers hate du. Etisalat customers hate Etisalat. I am Etisalat customer and can't wait for du service. Etisalat is generally a pain to deal with. I am not concerned with du payments as you could do online, much easier. Already doing it with mobile. Plus, du has cheaper plans for any service. Although it states fixed line internet (technical term), ofcourse you can make it wireless with a wireless router. Du just have to make sure they have enough resources (staff) to activate as there will be a lot of Etisalat customers who wants to switch. Du customer base is small, so I guess Etisalat can quiet comfortably switch them. But no doubt, this will bring a lot of prices down just like it has with mobile. Du has already begun the war with AED-200 for 8mb internet+phone.

Posted by: Ah

i live in DG , and i have TV ,Internet and Fixed line from du you just buy a router which is cost 200 or 300 AED then will have a wirless at your home , its very simple , you just need to congiure the router just to provide a user name and passpord just to prevent any one to use your bandwidth

Posted by: Syam

My opinion: (I live in Emaar Greens and using Du services from the beginning) Fixed line: No comments, I think both have same standard. Fixed-line Internet: Du is much better. Wireless Internet: Only Etisalat is providing. One can subscribe to it irrespective of the location. Mobile: Etisalat has better coverage so go for it unless you like one of the Du's plans. TV: Etisalat is better but service not available in Du area.

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