Abu Dhabi breakthrough for du as monopoly ends
The twofour54 media zone will become the first area in Abu Dhabi where it will be possible to choose between the telecommunications providers Etisalat and du.
Currently, du is restricted to offering primary fixed-line telecoms subscriptions in just a few areas of Dubai, such as the Dubai Marina and certain free zones.
But the operator has signed a memorandum of understanding with twofour54 to provide fixed-line telephone and broadband services to businesses operating in the media zone.
"This is the first zone in Abu Dhabi where customers can have the true freedom to choose their telecom operator for the full suite of services," du said.
The company added that it would offer "broadcast, mobile and fixed telecom services to twofour54 and its partner companies".
Last year, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai became the first location in the UAE where residents could choose their broadband provider.
But the twofour54 deal marks the first time du can offer primary fixed-line and broadband connections in Abu Dhabi.
A recent relaxation in UAE telecoms regulations means that Etisalat and du will soon be able to provide fixed-line services across the UAE.
The move will break Etisalat's monopoly on such services and give du the ability to sell fixed services across the country. In turn, Etisalat will be able to sell services in the few premium areas in Dubai in which du has exclusivity.
Osman Sultan, the chief executive of du, said the twofour54 deal was "a significant moment for us in the run-up to the nationwide launch of our fixed services".
Meanwhile, it has emerged that three telecoms companies have withdrawn from bidding for Syria's third mobile telecoms licence. Etisalat, France Telecom and Turkcell have pulled out of the bidding, leaving Qatar Telecommunications and Saudi Telecom the only major companies in the running.
Published: April 5, 2011 04:00 AM