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Wed 2 Mar 2016 02:01 PM

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Etisalat, du agree smart initiative to improve UAE telecoms competition

Rival operators combine to develop smart infrastructure in new projects to allow residents to switch service providers

Etisalat, du agree smart initiative to improve UAE telecoms competition

The UAE's two telecom rivals on Wednesday announced a joint initiative to support the government in developing smart infrastructure in new developments across the country while giving customers the opportunity to switch operators.

Etisalat and du announced Taawun, which will initially includes more than 50 projects and will serve as the model for all new greenfield areas in the country.

Taawun will establish a robust telecom infrastructure as a backbone for property developers, deploying advanced fibre-optic and passive telecom solutions that are best-in-class and future-proof, the companies said in a statement.

They added that the initiative will also enhance the competitive landscape in the UAE allowing residents and businesses to select - and switch - between service providers of their choice.

It aims to contribute to the UAE Vision 2021 to rank the nation among top 10 globally in the overall ICT infrastructure, Online Services Index and the Network Readiness Index.

The first phase of the programme has been implemented at the upcoming Dubai Sustainable City, that will include an environmental sciences university, school, commercial centre, shopping mall and a deluxe sustainable hotel and resort with a natural spa centre. 

The operators have both installed passive fibre optic infrastructure connecting residential units within the community enabling residents to choose home telecom services from their preferred operator.

Saleh Al Abdooli, CEO of Etisalat UAE said: “Customer choices will be key to the development of new telecom infrastructure in the UAE, embodied by the Taawun initiative, which is of strategic importance to the country’s telecom industry as well as the real estate sector.

"Etisalat is keen on this initiative, which aligns with our commitment to support the government’s smart vision and development of a smart environment across the country. It will ensure that the newly developed infrastructure will meet the current and future connectivity requirements of smart homes and systems in new property developments.

"Such initiatives are vital in positioning the UAE on the global map as a leader with a futuristic outlook in telecom and technology.”

Osman Sultan, CEO of du, added: “Taawun marks a major milestone in our progress towards a fully competitive telecommunications market in the UAE. I am extremely pleased that, through Taawun, all new real estate developments across the UAE will be served by competitive state-of-the-art passive infrastructure and residents of these new development projects will now be able to make a choice between operators.

"This strategic initiative will enable realisation of the UAE’s Smart Cities’ vision and will further strengthen the UAE’s positioning as a global leader in the telecommunications sector.”

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