TRA denies talk of third operator

The UAE's telco regulator said it is not currently looking at issuing a third mobile licence, claiming there are other areas of service that need to be addressed.

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By  Administrator Published  April 26, 2007

The UAE's telco regulator said it is not currently looking at issuing a third mobile licence, claiming there are other areas of service that need to be addressed.

"This matter is too early to discuss and is not in deliberations in the foreseeing future," Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), said in a statement this week.

The regulator was responding to media reports claiming a third mobile licence was in the pipeline; the regulator said the reports were "totally untrue".

The TRA did state, however, that it is drafting a new regulation for licensing in the UAE. It did not provide specific details of the new licence regulation, but said it would "give a chance for other telecom services to operate, other than the mobile services".

"Drafting a new licence regulation does not mean licensing a third mobile operator in the country," Al Ghanim stressed.

News agency Bloomberg recently quoted Al Ghanim saying a third mobile licence for the emirates was being planned.

"A third mobile licence is in the books, but it is too early to discuss it now," he said, according to Bloomberg. "A third licence has always been part of the government's plan, but it's premature to make a decision about it now. We licensed du last year, and they began operating this year, so it will take some time before a third licence is offered."

In February local media reported Samir Al Basheer, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) director, as saying a third operator was under formation in the UAE; the TRA denied there were any such discussions going on.

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