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Etisalat confirms Al Shamil broadband still available

Operator says new Al Shamil subscriptions available, no compulsory move to eLife

Etisalat confirms Al Shamil broadband still available
Etisalat says that eLife offers better value to customers, but Al Shamil broadband is still available.

UAE operator Etisalat has confirmed that it is not scrapping its Al Shamil broadband service in favour of its fibre-based eLife service package.

Etisalat customers have reported throughout last month that they were being told by customer care representatives of the company that existing Al Shamil lines will be disconnected, or that new Al Shamil subscriptions were not available.

Khalifa Al Shamsi, senior vice-president for marketing affairs, told the Arabic daily Emarat Al Youm that the service was not being stopped on 23rd September, but following that report, ITP.net received complaints from many readers that they were still being told that Al Shamil service is not available or that they would have to transition to eLife.

Responding to a request from ITP.net, Omar Almuzakki, VP Marketing Products at Etisalat, said in a statement: “While Al Shamil is still available for customers to subscribe to, eLife services not only provide high speed broadband, high quality TV and soon, high definition voice, all on a single line; but also higher value, convenience and many added benefits.

“Our customer service agents and technicians are looking out in the best interest of our customers and advising them on the advantages of opting for eLife services. Customers choosing eLife packages (double play or triple play) benefit from much higher value as compared to the traditional Al Shamil connection,” he added. "eLife services is based on a future-proof fibre-technology that has a high data capacity and is poised to meet our customers’ ever evolving communications needs and ever increasing demands to suit their lifestyles,” Almuzakki added.

The eLife package, which includes voice and IP television options, is only available to homes that are connected to Etisalat’s fibre optic network, with the operator aiming for full Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) to be completed in 2011. Al Shamil, which only provides an internet connection and related services such as online storage and email, is available over the traditional copper network and over fibre.

At present, the cheapest Al Shamil service, which provides broadband internet connection, costs AED 79 per month ($21) for 265Kbps with a limited number of hours usage. In comparison, the cheapest eLife service, for 1Mbps internet and telephone landline (double play) is AED 249 ($67) per month or AED 299 with TV service. A comparable 1Mbps Al Shamil connection is AED 249 per month.

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