Etisalat 'deliberately delays' system that allows competition

2010 before all customers can switch from Etisalat to another provider - TRA.

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By  Joanna Hartely Published  April 26, 2009

A technical system to allow competition in the UAE's landline telephone and broadband internet markets has been delayed for a year on the request of Etisalat, it was revealed on Monday.

The system, called ‘carrier pre-selection’, which allows people to switch between networks, was mandated by the government last year.

Once in effect it will allow Etisalat customers to move over to du services, introducing price-based competition into the market.

However, a statement issued by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) on Sunday said that Etisalat, the UAE’s largest telecommunications provider, had asked for the scheme’s introduction to be stalled until 2010, according to UAE daily The National.

The “deliberate delay”, initiated in December last year, means customers will continue to pay more than twice the European average for broadband internet, as a result of being tied to Etisalat services.

The TRA, which supports the introduction of price-based competition, had hoped that carrier pre-selection would be available for all UAE customers, by the beginning of this year.

But, for the system to be implemented modifications have to be made to Etislat’s fixed-line network.

Modifications had only been completed on lines covering two thirds of the UAE population before Etisalat called a halt to the work in December last year.

Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the TRA said it would now be 2010 before carrier pre-selection would be available to everyone.

Last week Farid Faraidooni, executive vice president for commercial operations at du, said competition across the country would be the main catalyst for lower broadband internet prices.

However, he added it was unclear when the company would be able to offer its services to customers across the UAE due to unresolved issues such as carrier pre-selection and network sharing.

Etisalat could not be reached for comment by The National.

3035 days ago
Indian Expat

All this is just way for the TRA to stay in the limelight. They actually ONLY act as a hindrance. No real work done by them compared to other more matured regulators like the TRAI.

3036 days ago
Jon

A) Fixed-line calls to national lines are free B) Even if you have CPS you pay line rental to the incumbent, its only the minutes that are billed to the prefered operator C) We already have it - Etisalat Select and Du Call Select Conclusion - plans afoot to introduce cost for local calls in preparation for a third competitor maybe?

3036 days ago
Tome de Souza

This news is nothing new to all Dubaians. Should Etisalat had the flexibility to challenge competition; recession would have started much earlier than expected in the company. It is a monopoly on telecommunication. No wonder the Asian and European nations enjoy a competitive price with regards to use of telecommunication services as competition is allowed which is healthier for the growth and prosperity of the country. The balance sheet of the company will always show profits as we need to abide by the No Competition Area. DU is a challenge but not a competitor. It is like a face book, the other side is Etisalat.

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