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No third phone operator for the UAE

The UAE telecoms regulator has denied rumours that a third telecom company is under consideration.

The UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has quashed rumours that a third telecom company is under consideration in the UAE.

A report in the local press this week cited Samir Al Basheer, director of industry governing body the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), as saying that a third telecom company was under formation.

But in a statement to Emirates News Agency, the regulator denied there were any such discussions with any third company.

When contacted by IT Weekly, a spokesperson for the ITU said that the media report appeared to be "a misunderstanding" of comments made by Al Basheer at symposium held for telecom regulators in Dubai last week. "Mr Basheer made reference to a third operator due to start in Saudi Arabia, not in the UAE," the spokesperson said.

This week saw the launch of the UAE's second telco, du, which began commercial operations on February 11, one day before a deadline imposed by the TRA.

According to du, half a million people had pre-booked a number for its mobile operations, although it warned many would have to wait to receive their SIM cards.

Du declined to provide details this week on the levels of activity on its services.