Etisalat to open up fixed-line market

28 May 2014 | Sophie Donoghue

UAE incumbent Etisalat has announced plans to share its fixed network infrastructure with mobile rival du by the end of this year.

The deal could see Etisalat launch a Bitstream access service which would allow rivals access to its network, opening the fixed-line and internet sector in the country up to competition.

"Etisalat anticipates that the Bitstream access service will be launched by the end of 2014," the company announced.

Rival operator du launched landline services in 2007, breaking Etisalat’s monopoly in the telecoms market. However, du’s fixed infrastructure is confined to new parts of Dubai, leading to little competition in UAE telecoms.

The move finalises talks between du and Etisalat on Bitstream access, which have been progressing since 2009.

If the deal is implemented, Etisalat can expect a significant increase in competition from du in the UAE market.