Etisalat to charge customers by the second

The announcement, which did not state when the scheme would come into effect, comes less than a month after the UAE’s nascent second operator du declared it would charge subscribers by the second on launch of mobile operations.

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By  Christopher Reynolds Published  December 4, 2006

Incumbent UAE telco Etisalat will adopt a pay-per-second price scheme in order to reduce rates for subscribers, according to its CEO Mohammed Khalfan Al Qamzi. The announcement, which did not state when the scheme would come into effect, comes less than a month after the UAE’s nascent second operator du declared it would charge subscribers by the second on launch of mobile operations. This confirms industry analysts’ assumptions that Etisalat will mirror du’s market strategy over the coming months. “I think as soon as we know more about du’s packages Etisalat will launch something similar. I think Etisalat will look at the market strategy of du and try to imitate aspects of it. Segmentation will happen and I expect Etisalat to offer the same kind of packages very soon after du launches,” says industry expert Marc Hammoud, assistant vice president, Shuaa Captial. Etisalat already announced plans to reduce its international call rates by 35% for business customers in anticipation of the impending liberalisation of the UAE’s telecommunications market. The telco saw its prepaid mobile subscriber base increase by 17% from 1Q05 to 1Q06 and currently holds over 4 million subscribers in the region, with a market penetration of 106%.

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