TRA mulls licensing of new service providers in 2015

23 Mar 2012

The United Arab Emirates is reportedly considering plans to open up the telecommunications sector to new players in 2015, according to a report by Emirates 24/7, which cites Dubai-based Arabic language daily Albayan. The plan is part of a strategy to upgrade services to the public and ensure fair competition in the market, said Majid Sultan Al Mismar, deputy director of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). ‘We are studying plans to open up the country’s telecommunications sector,’ he told Albayan, adding: ‘The plan involves allowing the operation of new service providers in the country by 2015, depending on market requirements and the needs of subscribers.’ At present the only service providers operating in the UAE are incumbent Etisalat and second national operator Du, which broke Etisalat’s monopoly on the mobile market in 2007. By the end of 2011 Du had garnered a 40.1% share of the UAE’s roughly 13 million mobile subscribers, up from 35.8% twelve months earlier, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database.