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Bring it kinda on: Etisalat and Du fight for the top spot
Prepare for great telco promos to come your way, as du and Etisalat do their competitive dance. Oh wait, not yet...it’s not quite a real competition yet, says Jacqueline Gomes.
July 20, 2011 3:11 by Eva Fernandes
Come December, phone and internet users across the UAE are expected to be able to more freely choose services between Etisalat and du. Not so fast though. It isn’t as big a story as we’d like it to be as the rivalry between the two operators will be muted initially as the new rules do not yet extend to Internet TV (IPTV) services such as Etisalat’s E-Life and du’s duTV. Both operators sell internet, landline and TV services as one package, known as “triple play” bundles, and are currently restricted to offering fixed-line services in certain areas.
The liberalisation of the telecommunications market was expected to prompt greater competition between the two telecoms companies. But consumers may be reluctant to switch operators until TV is included in the package, analysts said. Although, Kipp would have liked to include VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) in this conversation, we suppose that would be too much to ask at this stage.
When du goes into new areas for now, it won’t be able to offer the full triple-play service, thus muting the competition. Du is lagging behind on its plans, with fixed-line sharing rescheduled to December 2011. It was initially announced last year but has been subject to several delays.
But if Du ever wants to reach to the top it has to get its act together, just recently du services were knocked out by a “system upgrade”, and scores of households were left without internet, television and telephone lines, mainly in the Jumeirah Village Triangle (JVT) development area. Residents were without access to the web and TV services since Saturday.
Du apologised to residents affected by the break in their service. “We are currently carrying out a service upgrade at 672 villas in Jumeirah Village Triangle area,” said a spokesman for Du. They also added that the upgrade would be completed by July 20.
In a preemptive move, Du issued a statement this Wednesday, warning its subscribers there would be more cable maintenance carried out from 00:00 am (UAE), July 25 – 04:00 am (UAE), July 31. While it says there would be no impact on national or international voice calls from mobile and fixed lines, slower internet connections may be expected. Such inconveniences is a small price to pay for the current service, we suppose.