By Erika Solomon
Move will increase competition in the UAE's phone, internet, and television market.
UAE telecoms services provider du will gain access to the network of rival and market leader Etisalat, creating a new wave of competition in the country, a local newspaper said on Friday.
The move, to be completed in weeks, would increase competition in the UAE's phone, internet, and television market, English-language daily The National said, as Etisalat previously held a monopoly on these services in most of the country.
"Welcome to competition," the chief commercial officer for du, Farid Faraidooni, told the newspaper, without giving a specific date when the network sharing agreement would begin.
Talks between du, Etisalat, and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, however, were believed to be finalised, The National reported.
"This is going to open up the whole country for us ... we are very confident we can acquire a significant market share in the fixed line business once this becomes sufficiently available to us," Faraidooni said.
Du, owned partly by the ruler of Dubai's investment company Dubai Holding, and Abu Dhabi investment vehicle Mubadala Development Co, said in April it would pursue a rights issue to fund infrastructure improvements beyond 2010.
Abu Dhabi based Etisalat, the Arab world's second-biggest telecoms firm, has been aggressively expanding outside the United Arab Emirates since it lost its total monopoly in the home market by Dubai-based du in 2007. (Reuters)