Competition in the international phone market heated up yesterday, with du launching a cut-price service available to residents across the country. Calls made through the system will cost Dh0.60 (US$0.16) per minute, less than a third of the price currently charged by both Etisalat and du for calls to popular markets such as India, the UK and Egypt. The new option lets du or Etisalat customers who have a landline at home use prepaid recharge cards, similar to those used in the mobile market, to make international calls.
"This is a continuation of the evolution of the market towards full competition," said Farid Faraidooni, the chief commercial officer of du. "This is real competition, better prices and an innovative new service, here today and everyone can take advantage of it." International calling remains a lucrative source of income for UAE telecommunications providers, with prices remaining relatively high due to government restrictions on internet calling services such as Skype.
The existence of such services has driven prices down in overseas markets. Even with du's new heavily discounted rate, calls between the UAE and India remain more expensive than a call from Singapore to the US. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org