12 Mar 2010
The UAE’s incumbent fixed line operator Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has agreed to permit its sole competitor Du to use its infrastructure starting from the second half of this year, the Khaleej Times reports. Etisalat’s chairman, Mohammed Omran, revealed the news during the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, announcing: ‘We are committed to the UAE government and the regulator on network sharing between us and Du. We are working towards that.’ Without elaborating, Omran added that the company has been formulating a timetable for network sharing with its rival. CommsUpdate reported last month that Du plans to offer the first set of fixed line services over shared infrastructure with Etisalat by July. ‘Our talks on sharing infrastructure with Etisalat and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) are progressing well,’ revealed Farid Faraidooni, CCO at Du, adding, ‘We will conclude the talks by the end of the first quarter and [are] likely to execute the projects by June this year.’ It is hoped that sharing infrastructure will help encourage competition, improve service quality and lower the country’s fixed telephony and broadband tariffs, which are said to be amongst the highest in the region. At present, Du is not permitted to access Etisalat’s nationwide network, but is allowed to provide broadband services to the free economic zones of Dubai.