Users free to choose fixed voice provider in UAE
Customers can now choose fixed-line voice provider, says TRA
Fixed-line subscribers in the UAE are now free to choose whether they use Etisalat or Du for fixed-voice calls by using a carrier pre-selection service (CPS), according to the TRA.
"This [CPS] is a significant milestone for the licencees and it carries a great benefit for the telecommunications industry in the UAE. Users are now having the opportunity to choose their service provider regardless of the main access line provider," said Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, director general, TRA.
CPS is the more advanced mechanism of carrier selection (CS) as it allows customers to select their preferred service provider to route their fixed-voice calls without having to dial additional codes on the telephone or programming on-site equipment, according to the TRA.
CPS uses network access technology which allows traffic originating from the customer's line to be routed to the network of the chosen service provider as the "selection" of the preferred provider is automatically carried out by the exchanges in the public network of the main access line provider.
A customer, whether business or residential, who is physically connected to Etisalat's network will be able to have access to services from Du's network; similarly, businesses and residential customers physically connected to Du's network will be able to enjoy services from Etisalat.
"As the regulatory authority, it is the TRA's role to safeguard the ICT sector in the UAE, and one of the ways we can encourage growth in the sector is through healthy competition among its service providers," Al Ghanim added.
In the early part of the third quarter of 2011, both licencees announced the soft launch of this service which was regarded as a final stage of the testing.
The soft launch was designed to assess all aspects of the service including the customer facing systems, the inter-operator systems, the order and provision process, and the technical capabilities.
The TRA had been due to implement full infrastructure sharing for fixed-line voice and internet services at the beginning of the year, but the service was delayed owing to technical problems, the TRA said.