Anything else, it seems, will Du…

The UAE’s second telco, Du, has announced an extension to its number booking service until January 10 due to huge demand. Is it me? Am I missing something, or is the anti-Etisalat sentiment in the UAE really that intense?

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By  Matthew Wade Published  December 18, 2006

Du has rolled out a couple of schemes recently, both related to number booking. The first, which it has now extended the deadline for until January 10 due to “very encouraging” take-up, allows mobile phone users in the UAE to keep their seven-figure number and change from Etisalat (and its 050 mobile number prefix) to Du and its 055 code. The second option on offer allows would-be Du customers to ‘book’ a completely new seven-digit mobile number (obviously with Du’s 055 prefix) again, for when Du rolls out its mobile services early next year. Oh, and both these are paid for! It'll set you back AED100 to move your current number to Du, and from AED100 up to, well, thousands of chips, for the cool new number of your choice (find out exactly how much at My055.com). Du claims the extension of the former service swapping scheme is in response to the high demand, in that – do you believe this? - over 300,000 customers have already registered their numbers through Du’s website. At the risk of sounding like an “in my day”-spouting elderly relative, I’ll say it again: is it me? I can of course understand people wanting the chance to pick a new number from scratch (055-1234567 does have a certain ring to it, excuse the pun), and I can almost understand some monied vanity freaks wanting to pay for this, but swapping your current number over to a telco that hasn’t announced any service details or, crucially, any pricing? That’s a leap to far for this caller. Over a quarter of a million consumers are, it seems then, really that desperate to deprive Etisalat of their hard-earned readies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting I’ll stick with Etisalat because of its 'value-packed' calling rates and award-winning customer service, but I will at least adopt a considered policy of ‘wait and see’. Which means it’s over to you Mr. Second Telco; it’s time to show us what you can Du.

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