TRA aims to end network sharing stalemate

18 Jul 2013

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates is looking to impose a requirement on operators to offer bitstream access to end a deadlock in negotiations between the country’s two service providers, Etisalat and Du, the National reports. The introduction of bitstream access is designed to break the monopolies held by the pair within their respective areas by giving consumers nationwide the choice of operator for their fixed line voice and broadband services. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that a trial bitstream service with selected customers was launched in July 2011, with a view to making the service available across the UAE by the end of the year, but in December 2011 the TRA delayed a full commercial launch as Etisalat and Du were not technically ready to introduce the service. In October 2012 Etisalat’s chief executive Ahmad Julfar was quoted as saying that negotiations between the two operators on the commercial terms of network sharing were still ongoing.