According to a report by Emirates Business, the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has granted a ten-year telecoms licence to Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat). Yahsat, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company, has become the third operator to hold a concession for the provision of telecoms services in the UAE after incumbent telco Etisalat and Du. ‘The licensing of Yahsat comes as confirmation of the role of the TRA in driving the country’s telecommunications so it can compete globally,’ commented TRA director general Mohammed Nasser Al Ghanim, adding, ‘Through this licence Yahsat will provide the region’s first multi-purpose satellite telecommunications system.’ The licence allows Yahsat to install, operate and manage a public telecoms network and provide satellite services in the country. The company hopes to offer a range of voice, data, video and internet connectivity solutions, including High Definition (HD) television and broadband satellite. Company spokesman Waleed Al Muhairi said the satellites are scheduled to be launched in the first and second quarters of 2011.
In a separate story, Etisalat has signed an agreement with IP solutions provider Global Crossing for the provision of seamless connectivity alternatives to corporate customers wishing to expand their connectivity to the US, Canada and Latin America from the UAE. The telco has set up its own node in New York with last mile connectivity provided by Global Crossing to offer global connectivity solutions through a secure and fully owned IP/MPLS network.