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Calling in cheaper rates

The UAE has just approved the license for its third telecoms operator, Yahsat. Will this lead to a greater variety of services and lower prices for consumers?

March 1, 2010 1:52 by

While the two telcos have been making money, most customers in the UAE have been paying through the nose: A recent survey by Kipp found that people in the UAE pay up to 14 times more for a broadband connection compared with their counterparts in the UK.

However, the TRA announced last month that UAE telcos would soon be allowed to set their own prices without seeking government approval. While regulations were originally set to prevent a price war between the two operators, it is expected that Etisalat and du will now be allowed to compete more freely. The move will also help prevent measures such as predatory pricing, and foster healthy competition, the TRA said.

Now, with the entry of a third operator – which boasts the benefit of satellite technology – the competition may get even more intense. While Yahsat said that it has not yet fixed tariffs for the UAE, company officials say its internet services will have different tariff plans compared with terrestrial service providers.

Will this translate into cheaper broadband rates for consumers? We certainly hope so.

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