The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates has said it will issue a mobile digital TV licence in the Gulf state by the middle of 2008. ‘We have just appointed a consultant to advise the authority on licensing issues and procedures,’ director-general of TRA Mohammed Al Ghanem told local newspaper the Khaleej Times. He said that the consultant will take a month to complete the task, enabling the authority to issue the licence to an operator by June. However, Al-Ghanem noted that it was premature to speculate as to when the licensee would actually launch its service.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, there are currently two mobile operators in UAE, incumbent Etisalat, and second national operator Du, which launched services in February last year. Despite having a population of less than five million, the country was home to nearly eight million mobile phone subscribers at the end of September 2007.