Launch of fixed network sharing delayed

3 Jan 2012

The United Arab Emirates’ Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced that the commercial launch of fixed line network sharing between the country’s two telecoms operators, Etisalat and Du, has been postponed as the pair are not yet technically ready to implement the process. A soft-launch of bitstream access was launched by the two companies in July 2011, with a view to making the service available across the UAE by the end of the year. However, the TRA has said in a statement that it has delayed the full commercial implementation of fixed network sharing ‘until the completion of the technical readiness.’ The introduction of bitstream access will break the monopolies held by Etisalat and Du within their respective areas, giving business and residential customers the choice of operator for their fixed line voice and broadband services for the first time. At present Du’s internet and pay-TV services only cover newly developed areas of Dubai, including Dubai Marina and Media City; while Etisalat is barred from operating in these areas, it holds a monopoly on providing fixed services in the rest of the country.

United Arab Emirates, Du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company, EITC), Etisalat UAE