25 Jul 2014
Dubai-based telecoms operator Du has indicated that long-delayed network sharing with sole rival Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) will begin in October, the company’s CEO Osman Sultan told Gulf News. The move will 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. Du is primarily restricted to the new development areas and free zones of Dubai, while Etisalat serves the rest of the market. Sultan revealed that IPTV services will not be offered initially, but will be available ‘at a later stage due to some technical reasons’. Etisalat and Du first began discussing the issue in 2009 and a trial bitstream service with selected customers was launched in July 2011, but failure to agree the terms of network sharing have so far delayed its full implementation.