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Du set to break Etisalat monopoly

Major telecoms operator’s rival to get access to network.

July 3, 2010 10:39 by

Telecoms operator Du is to gain access to the network of its larger competitor Etisalat, reports the National.

The move is set to usher “in a fresh wave of competition in the phone, internet and television market,” according to the paper. If the arrangement goes ahead, UAE residents will at last have a choice of telecoms provider, regardless of where they live.

Throughout most of the country Etisalat has a monopoly on traditional telephones, internet service and cable TV, while Du services a number of smaller, newer areas in Dubai.

“Welcome to competition,” said Farid Faraidooni, the chief commercial officer for Du. “This is going to open up the whole country for us. This is a big opportunity. We are very confident we can acquire a significant market share in the fixed-line business once this becomes sufficiently available to us.”

No specific date has been set for the move, but the National reports that talks between Du, Etisalat and the UAE’s TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority) have been finalized.

“There will be price competition,” Matthew Reed, a research analyst with Informa Telecoms and Media told the paper. “At the moment, broadband prices are pretty high here and I suspect neither operator would like to get into a fierce price war, but there will be better pricing available to consumers.”

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