The UAE's Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority says the United IX programme, which merges the internet traffic exchange platforms of telecom providers e& and du, is complete.
The initiative allows seamless customer interconnection at the national level.
The linking of Abu Dhabi-based e&'s SmartHub IX and UAE-IX from Dubai's du, is the first such initiative in the Middle East and connects customers regardless of service provider, the TDRA said on Monday.
United IX, which is part of the authority's efforts to further develop the telecom sector's infrastructure, will make the UAE a hub for interconnection at the regional level as well, Majed Al Mesmar, director general of the TDRA, said.
It will also “enhance interconnection and integration to serve the objectives of attracting investments, providing the best experience for global companies such as emerging technology companies and service providers, in addition to enhancing speed of data transmission, and improving response time”, he said.
In the telecoms industry, interconnection allows providers to connect to a mutual network, so users of different networks can communicate with each other.
Increasing network interconnection will improve convenience and utility of telecoms service for users, according to the International Telecommunications Union. It can also contribute to low latency, or response times, as well as tap into faster connections that help companies transfer data more reliably.
The telecoms sector is improving services amid digital transformation, integrating new technologies into their operations to expand consumer base and add new revenue lines.
The UAE also has a mobile network portability programme, in which users can switch to another telecom provider while retaining their mobile number from the previous one.
United IX will help the UAE become a “partner of choice” for carriers, cloud service providers, internet providers and companies looking for state-of-the-art data centres, said Masood Mahmood, chief executive of Etisalat by e&.
“It is also in line with the vision of the UAE leadership in enhancing the country's leading position as a hub of ICT and data in the region, while meeting the diverse requirements of telecom infrastructure at the international level,” he said.
Seamless and reliable communication is also an “essential pillar” for users to keep pace with a digital-first economy, said Fahad Al Hassawi, chief executive of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, the formal name of du.
“Our interconnection services and solutions will enhance the capabilities and quality of modern communication technologies, enabling our partners and all stakeholders to establish direct and secure communications and link their operations across multiple sites, as well as achieve savings in time and costs,” he said.