du blames number porting for launch uncertainty

“We need to manage the numbers properly. The last thing we want is to launch and have a mess on the mobile numbers, because the market studies that came said this is a first priority,” said Osman Sultan, CEO of du.

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By  Christopher Reynolds Published  November 16, 2006

Osman Sultan, CEO of du, the UAE’s second telecoms operator, fended off questions over when the fledgling company will launch its mobile services at a press conference yesterday. Sultan remained resolute about not specifying a launch date, citing problems with the implementation of number portability as the main reason behind the uncertainty. “We need to manage the numbers properly. The last thing we want is to launch and have a mess on the mobile numbers, because the market studies that came said this is a first priority,” said Sultan. Du did not release details of specific price plans at the press conference. However Sultan did reveal customers would be able to register their number with the operator next week and that du’s mobile services would be charged on a pay-per-second basis. Sultan also showcased a new water-themed brand campaign, which included a lavish video advertisement, as well as commenting on du’s collaboration with a number of retailers – including Axiom – and the expected opening of ten dedicated du branded stores. “Water brings people together, it comes from inside us, it allows us to travel far. And of course, it is all around us in our daily life. This is how we see communication and we want to take it further,” commented Sultan. Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, the company behind the du brand, was awarded the UAE’s second licence in February 2006. The enterprise, which is 40% owned by the UAE federal government, had stated that it would be launching mobile services in the second half of this year.

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