You can now switch Landline and Internet Providers in the UAE! Will you?

Good News for some Folks here in the UAE. I have been with DU since the day I landed here and have never had any issues with it, so probably would not considering a change unless the options are way better for the same money.

On the other end having heard what the boss had issues with on the Etisalat side scared me off quite a bit as well. So the UAE has started to open up the fixed-line consumer telecom market to competition, the head of du said on Wednesday, after years of lobbying for the move.

The liberalisation, which started in July, follows about five years of negotiations in which du has been seeking access to larger rival Etisalat’s networks.

Du, which also met expectations with a small fall in second-quarter profit on Wednesday, ended Etisalat’s mobile telecom monopoly in 2007 and both firms have long offered fixed-line broadband, phone and television packages in the UAE, but not in the same districts.

Du had been largely confined to the newer areas of Dubai until the two companies quietly launched nationwide competition in fixed-line consumer services last month, du chief executive Osman Sultan told a conference call.

He estimated du’s share of fixed services revenue was about 15 per cent. “For the long-term it’s a game changer because it will open up the entire country,” said Sultan.

He said the deal would help du protect its mobile business as customers seek a single provider for telecom services and also boost revenue, but would not necessarily have a big impact on profit because fixed-line was a low margin business.

Du and Etisalat, both part-owned by federal fund Emirates Investment Authority, will limit how many customers can switch provider each month.

Sultan declined to reveal what this limit was, but said it would steadily increase and had been imposed due to capacity constraints. Customers can change fixed phone line and Internet provider, but television will not be added until 2016, said Sultan.

So what do you think? Will you change? Sound off in the comments!

Martin Mancyk

Gadget Freak, Party Animal, Coin Collector, Outdoor Guy and Homer Simpson sympathisant. Most times flying around the Middle East Martin brings a huge knowledge and insight to the Acme Blog.

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