The United Arab Emirates’ incumbent telecoms operator, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), has given 1.5 million of its mobile phone subscribers more time to update their details under the first phase of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s (TRA’s) SIM re-registration campaign. ‘Etisalat has decided not to disconnect services of mobile phone users who fail to re-register their SIM cards within the first stage, which covers 1.5 million subscribers,’ Emirates 24/7 cites Etisalat CEO Saleh Al Abdouli as saying. ‘We will later have to halt the service [if] users repeatedly fail to register and do not heed Etisalat’s recurrent warnings and notifications,’ he added. Around 1.5 million mobile phone subscribers each of Etisalat and rival Du were given until 16 October to register their details under the first of six three-month phases of the TRA’s campaign. ‘My Number, My Identity’ was unveiled in June 2012 and launched the following month, and requires subscribers to update their personal data and ensure that their SIM cards are registered under their name.
In other news, Saeed Y. Abdulla Al Zarouni, senior vice president of Mobile Networks at Etisalat, has told Gulf News that Etisalat plans to cover more than 99% of the UAE’s population with its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network by 2015. He added that Etisalat customers will be able to experience maximum download speeds of up to 300Mbps when devices that support such speeds become available, which could possibly be as soon as next year. ‘From the network point of view, we are ready. However, currently, the 4G devices available in the market offer speeds of up to 100Mbps only, whereas the 3G devices that are available offer speeds of only up to 42Mbps,’ Al Zarouni said. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Etisalat unveiled its Long Term Evolution-Frequency Division Duplex (LTE-FDD) mobile broadband network in September 2011 and went on to launch commercial services the following December. The 4G network, which is integrated with Etisalat’s fibre-optic infrastructure, comprises around 1,000 base stations and is available to roughly 80% of the UAE.