UAE's telco watchdog issues rules to boost competition

TRA chief reveals strategy to curb 'unfair and excessive pricing' in telecoms sector

Tags: Anti-competitiveEmirates Integrated Telecommunications Company Etisalat International - UAENumber portabilityTelecommunications Regulatory Authority - UAEUnited Arab Emirates
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UAE's telco watchdog issues rules to boost competition The new regulations will support vibrant and fair competition, claims Al Ghanim. (ITP Images)
By  Andy Sambidge Published  January 25, 2010

The UAE's telecoms watchdog on Monday published its new regulations to ensure greater competition between operators Etisalat and du.

Under the new Competition Framework, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said it would crack down on any anti-competitive practices, adding that any complaints lodged by either company would be investigated.

Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, director general of the TRA, said the move was an "importance piece" for regulating the telecoms sector in the UAE.

He added that the new regulations would help "foster growth and development of the telecommunication sector through the creation of sustainable, vibrant and fair competition".

The new framework policy said it was "ultimately for the benefit of consumers, to promote and protect competition by deterring Entities from engaging in activities that may impede competition in the UAE telecommunications sector", adding it would stop "unfair and excessive pricing".

Al Ghanim added: "The TRA consulted with several stakeholders during the development phase of the framework, and we are very happy to put in place such an important piece of the telecommunication's regulations within the country."

In November, a YouGov Siraj lifestyle survey in the UAE showed that 57% of mobile users in the UAE would consider switching their operator if they were allowed.

The poll, which polled 984 UAE residents, also revealed that 68% of respondents said that Etisalat was their sole mobile service provider, as opposed to just six percent who chose Du.

In October, the TRA said it was set to launch mobile phone number portability in the UAE.

The move will allow customers to migrate to any network operator using their existing number and will help boost competition between the country's two operators, bringing price and service benefits to consumers, the TRA said.

3342 days ago
Mike Dhar

This is all hogwash They can introduce competition overnight by allowing Voice over IP - like the rest of world, they should grow up I have no issue if they raise fixed line rental price and charge for local calls to compensate I think most people would welcome this

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