Telecomms regulator faces busy workload

Voice over IP, operator interconnection, mobile television: the Telecomms Regulatory Authority in the UAE has a lot of things that are keeping it busy.

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By  Administrator Published  September 7, 2007

Since the introduction of the UAE's independent regulator to the market in November 2004, the role and influence of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has only grown in stature. GULFCOMMS provides the perfect high-profile forum for it to discuss the UAE market and detail its future plans.

The TRA's immediate task at the time of its formation was the creation of the regulatory frameworks to help usher in a period of market competition, which the UAE had not experienced up to that point.

Given the tight timelines faced by the regulator in formulating policy, virtually from nothing, the TRA's director general, Mohammed Al Ghanim acknowledges that recent years have been exceedingly busy.

However, the TRA has been just as busy with the launch of the second all-service communications provider, du, this February. In fact, the role of the TRA is broadening rapidly, and despite the widening of its remit, Al Ghanim remains focused on ensuring the TRA sets the tone for the development of the UAE ICT sector. Al Ghanim says: "In 2006, much of the TRA's time was taken by overseeing the interaction of the two licensed operators, as matters such as site sharing, mobile number portability and network pre-select had to be resolved."

The TRA has just set up a committee aimed at facilitating the sharing of mobile network sites by du and Etisalat.

The two operators currently share some 30 mobile sites across the UAE. The number of shared sites is exepcted to triple before the end of the year, with more than 200 sites under study for sharing.

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