Etisalat and Du commence shared network tests
Pilots to be conducted with customers across UAE during 1Q this year
UAE telcos Etisalat and Du have commenced the testing of their shared networks ahead of a national rollout this year, according to a report from UAE daily newspaper, The National. In a move to break the monopolies in their respective areas of coverage, both the operators finalised their discussions last year to gain access to each other's broadband internet and television networks, the report added.
Khalifa al Shamsi, Etisalat's senior vice president of marketing, was quoted in the report saying that the operator had started home-testing the service to ensure its network can be accessed in Du's territory. The report also stated that there was no mention about when the UAE's TRA is likely to approve the network availability of both the operators throughout the country.
While Etisalat holds a monopoly in providing its services in most parts of the country, Du's exclusive coverage is in the new development areas including Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah.
Du's chief commercial officer, Farid Faraidooni said that the company had started its own internal testing for the technology that would make network convergence possible, according to the report.
Earlier, Mohamed al Ghanim, director general of the UAE's TRA, said that there were some technical delays in the provision of bitstream technology that would support both the operators' networks. He was quoted as saying that the pilot programmes are to be carried out with customers across the UAE during the first quarter of this year, after which the rollout of the services are to begin.