Etisalat and du continue to disagree over network-sharing deal

Etisalat and du are still in conflict over the terms of a network-sharing deal to open up fixed-line services in the UAE.

Talks between the companies began over four years ago, and du’s CEO Osman Sultan has voiced his frustration at the lack of development over the deal.

Etisalat’s monopoly ended in 2007 after du entered the market to offer fixed-line broadband and television packages, but the companies largely cover different regions.

Sultan confirmed that the two companies had solved technical issues for the network, but they still had not ironed out the financial terms.

He added that du is keen to open up the market because it is disadvantaged in terms of the zones it has access to.

“It is 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,” said Sultan. “We should only go with a healthy economic equation and this is why we have a divergent position.”

The mobile market in the country continues to mature, with the firm claiming over 46% of mobile subscribers, and du is keen to tap into fixed services as a result.

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