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Wed 17 Mar 2010 07:21 AM

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Third UAE mobile licence 'no earlier than 2015'

Consultancy says allowing a third player unlikely as it is not in government's interests.

The prospects of a third mobile licence for the UAE in the near future currently look unlikely, an analyst at leading UK-based telecoms consultancy Ovum has claimed.

“In the UAE, you have two essentially government-owned operators, so it’s not necessarily in their interests to enter a third player,” Ovum emerging markets analyst Daniel Subramanian told Arabian Business.

“They want to ensure that du has a solid footing before they let in a big player or launch a third firm locally.”

Subramanian added that a third mobile licence was expected “no earlier than 2015”.

Despite UAE incumbent Etisalat’s recent fast growth in overseas markets, it’s far too soon to tell whether its international adventures will be a success, another Ovum analyst warned.

“Etisalat is going well in some of its markets in Egypt and Nigeria where it has new licences, but we need to put this in context,” Ovum senior analyst Emeka Obiodu explained.

Obiodu outlined the example of UK mobile operator 3, which quickly gained a five percent market share, but which has made little progress in the five years since that achievement.

“That initial burst of success becomes tempered over the years…so inasmuch as we can say that Etisalat is doing well in its new markets, there is nothing to convince us that they would sustain such superlative performances over the years,” the Ovum analyst added

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Ali N 10 years ago

I’m honestly satisfied with my Du line, and don’t see any reason for a third party to come in just yet. I got my line with a BlackBerry from Axiom a while ago, and I’ve been more than happy with all the services I’ve gotten from both Du and Axiom after my purchase.

Aussie Ahmed 10 years ago

I dream of the day when (if) a non-government operated telco is allowed into the UAE...I don't think I can name any expat I know who is happy with either of them. Customer service: FAIL! Communication: FAIL! Ease of transacting: FAIL! As for that bloody Du jingle? "du, du doo do do do do doooo"....I definitely DON'T! Worst. Mobile. Telco. Ever!