du plans nationwide landline launch

UAE's second telecoms operator will roll out internet and landline services by the end of the year.

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By  Rob Corder Published  June 1, 2007

UAE's operator du, the country's second telecom company, has nearly doubled its mobile subscribers to 400,000 within months of launching service, a newspaper reported today (Friday).

The daily Gulf News quoted the company as saying subscriber count was up from 250,000 at the end of March, and that it was on course to meet its original target of more than 30 per cent of the mobile market by the end of 2009.

Du also announced that it would be launching fixed line and Internet services by the end of this year. It already provides these services to customers in several Dubai freehold residential communities and free zones.

Commenting on the growth in mobile phone subscribers, du's CEO Osman Sultan said he was satisfied with the current growth. "[400,000 is] getting close to 10 per cent of the population in a just few months since launch," he added.

Du's competitor, Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (Etisalat), the second-largest Arab telecom firm by market value, had 5.78 million mobile subscribers at the end of March.

Dubai-listed Du, which launched its mobile phone network in February, doubled its revenues to 183.2 million dirhams ($49.89 million) in the first quarter, but had a net loss of 215.8 million dirhams, up from 55.4 million dirhams a year earlier.

The UAE federal government owns 40 percent of du, while Abu Dhabi-government owned Mubadala Development Co. holds 20 percent. Tecom Investments has a 20 percent stake.

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