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UAE telcos fail to agree on network sharing

TRA says it will issue new requirements for network sharing

UAE telcos fail to agree on network sharing
The TRA says it will issue new requirements for network sharing.

UAE telecom operators Etisalat and du have failed to agree on how to enable network sharing, after two years of technology trials and four years of negotiations, according to Reuters.

A report from the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said that the two operators have reached agreement on bitstream access, which would enable one operator to permit the other to use its fixed network, or a method to determine the fees for allowing such access.

At present, the duopoly are restricted to supplying fixed line access only in certain districts, leaving customers with no choice of service provider for internet and fixed line voice services.

The regulator says it will now prepare a document that would impose a requirement to offer bitstream access, which Etisalat currently opposes.

The TRA has also failed to get the operators to allow mobile number portability, to allow users to switch networks but retain their phone numbers, despite originally claiming this would be available by mid-2008.

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