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Etisalat, du clash over network sharing

Telecom operators yet to agree on financial terms for fixed-network sharing

The UAE lacks true competition for fixed-line telecoms services.
The UAE lacks true competition for fixed-line telecoms services.

UAE telcos Etisalat and du remain at odds with each other over the financial terms for fixed-line infrastructure sharing.

Osman Sultan, CEO of du, said that while both operators were technically ready to use each other's fixed-line infrastructure, they had been unable to agree on financial terms, Reuters reported.

He added that the situation was a disadvantage for du, which is currently only able to offer fixed-line services in the newer areas of Dubai.

"It's clear we are disadvantaged because of the limited geographical zone where we can connect customers. Opening this to the entire nation, it's clearly a game changer," Reuters quoted Sultan as saying during a conference call.

"Being able to bundle this properly will become more and more important - this is an important track of growth that we are deprived of today," Sultan added.

The two operators started preparations for fixed-line infrastructure sharing four years ago.

In July, it was reported that the UAE's telecoms regulator said that it would prepare a document to impose a requirement to offer bitstream access.

In an interview with CommsMEA in July, Hatem Bamatraf, who was then VP of enterprise at du, said that he was optimistic that infrastructure sharing would be implemented eventually.