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Du and Etisalat: a game with no winners
The UAE’s two telecoms operators have been waging a tit-for-tat war of late; here’s why it doesn’t matter much.
June 2, 2010 3:41 by Samuel Potter
The two UAE telecoms operators got some good news recently. The UAE’s Telecom’s Regulatory Authority decided last month to delay the entrance of a third operator in the market, ensuring the existing duopoly will survive for at least another couple of years.
For many in the country, this was not the news they had hoped for. The current situation has hardly fostered a stellar level of customer service from either company, let alone the standards of technical delivery or prices available in other countries (Up to 20 Mb broadband Internet in the UK with British Telecom costs around AED 86 per month, here in the UAE with Du you can get 16 Mb speed for AED 549 or 24 Mb at a pricey AED 749).
Some welcomed the decision, however. Writing in the National, Rehan Khan, a business consultant, said the decision to give the duopoly two more years to shape up their ideas was the right one.
“While other duopolies around the world are cracked open with a crowbar by their respective regulators, Etisalat and Du are being given the opportunity to secure their own backyards for the next three years. This period of insulation and marginal competition between them should be a time for innovative investment,” he wrote.
Whatever your opinion, the outcome is set, and Du and Etisalat appear to have bedded themselves in, ready to dual head to head for a further three years.
Take this week, for example, which has been particularly noisy on the Du-Etisalat front. The latest skirmish seems to have been set in motion by the build up to the World Cup. Etisalat confirmed its coverage of the event first, leaving Du to play catch-up and reassuring its customers that the event would be available.
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