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No third UAE telco, but Oman set for more

The UAE’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority has denied reports that a third operator is to be introduced into the UAE telecoms market.

The UAE’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority has denied reports that a third operator is to be introduced into the UAE telecoms market.

The rebuttal comes after a news report published last Saturday claimed officials from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said a new telecommunications company would be introduced into the UAE to offer further competition to incumbent Etisalat and recent market entrant du, which launched commercial operations February 11.

According to reports Samir Al Basheer, director of the ITU, was quoted as saying:
“I understand a third telecom company is under formation in the UAE and it will offer stiff competition,”
However the UAE’s TRA has since denied knowledge of any such development and stated that any news pertaining to the introduction of a new telco will only be official if released by the TRA itself. The ITU said there was a misunderstanding and that Al Basheer was in fact referring to the introduction of a third operator to the Saudi market.

Also on the regulation front last month, the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Oman (TRA) released details of the next deregulation phase of the country’s telecommunications market.

Mohsin al Hafeedh of the TRA told press the government is in the process of finalising the administration of Class II licences, which will cover ISP services, value added services and resale services. “This will be a gradual process in order that we don’t disturb the market,” he said.

The reselling of services will enable start-up operators to purchase chunks of voice minutes, or data, as a resource from dominant operators and repackage the volume before selling it to end users. Al Hafeedh said this facility would be operational once the legal framework for the issuance of Class II licences are approved, but the official stopped short of providing a date for this.

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