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Etisalat & du agree to share networks


Emirates Business - Next month, the UAE"s telecom sector will witness network sharing by the two main service providers, etisalat and du, in a move that will nullify the geographical monopoly of both companies, according to Mohamed Al Ghanim, Director-General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). Al Ghanim was speaking to Emirates Business on the sidelines of Mecom 2010 in Abu Dhabi. "There are positive negotiations between etisalat and du to start sharing networks." He said the negotiations aim to open up both providers" coverage at the national level for fixed phone and internet connections next month, and this will lead to a considerable drop in prices. The number portability feature – where a consumer can change service providers without changing the phone number – will be enforced at the end of the year, said the TRA chief. As for unified pricing of mobile phone calls in member states of the Gulf Co-operation Council, an agreement is expected next week, said Al Ghanim. "We have reached the final features of the deal, and we are about to enforce it." Telecom, said Al Ghanim, was UAE"s best growth sector during the global financial crisis. In its first annual market review released yesterday, the TRA said the country"s telecom sector contributed about 4.9 per cent to overall GDP in 2009.



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