TRA may scrap free zone monopolies

3 Sep 2007

UAE’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) plans to end second national operator (SNO) du’s telecoms monopoly in certain parts of Dubai, according to a report by Reuters. Incumbent Etisalat does not provide internet or fixed line services in the ‘New Dubai’ Free Economic Zones and nearby residential districts, whilst du is largely restricted to these areas. The TRA wants to ‘open the door for competition between du and Etisalat in…internet and broadband services in all parts of the country soon,’ said the regulator’s director general Mohammed al-Ghanem, quoted in local press. Etisalat recently complained that du shareholder Tecom Investments was blocking access to the Dubai free zones which house more than 2,200 companies. Tecom was the sole telecom provider in the zones until du took over its customers.