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du launches cheap landline call rates
International calls start at 60 fils/minute on new ‘One World One Rate’ tariff.
February 3, 2010 1:02 by Ben Flanagan
Telecoms operator du has launched a ‘Homephone Recharge’ service offering international calls from landlines for 60 fils/minute.
The operator will sell prepaid cards that can be used to make calls from any UAE landline, regardless of operator.
Calls can be made to 190 destinations at the rate of 1 fil per second during the night, 3 fils per second during the day from 9am to 9pm, and 1.5 fils per second on Friday from 9am to 9pm.
The cheapest rate (1 fil/second) is double the cost of calls made from du’s mobile phones. But the new tariff offers considerable savings on international calls.
Making a 60-second call to the UK, US or India at peak time costs AED2.69, AED2.40 and AED2.12 respectively using du’s mobile service. But the international call rate is between 60 fils and AED1.80 per minute using the telco’s new landline service.
The new service could give du a competitive edge on rival operator Etisalat. Currently, the lack of competition between the UAE’s two telcoms operators has meant that there is little difference in their charges. An investigation by Kipp also found that the providers charge up to fourteen times as much for their broadband services, compared with operators other markets. However, the local telcoms authority recently said that it is to lift restrictions on du and Etisalat, leaving them free to set their own rates without prior approval.
du said that its prepaid service would come with a free credit bonus on activation.
“To activate du’s ground-breaking Homephone Recharge prepaid service, subscribers simply need to call 800135 from any home landline. Upon activation, subscribers will immediately get AED5 instant free credit, enabling them to start calling straightaway,” said du in a statement.
“To make calls, subscribers need to dial the prefix 08888 before the number they wish to call, du customers simply need to dial “*” (Star) – in place of 08888 – before the number they wish to call.”
“Customers can take advantage of our Homephone Recharge services with no change to their home telephone number, no monthly fees and no service interruption, while getting the option to choose between prepaid or postpaid Homephone service,” said Farid Faraidooni, chief commercial officer, du.