Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, which trades as Du, will start selling high-speed internet services across the UAE from the end of 2009 at the earliest, according to Osman Sultan, chief executive officer at Du, ending Etisalat’s monopoly.
Du has held a licence to sell fixed-line and mobile phone services since February 2006. Its nationwide mobile service was launched a year later, but it has yet to launch fixed-line services beyond two zones in Dubai.
The telecoms operator now plans to provide broadband internet connections using wireless technology known as Wimax.
“We are studying Wimax. We are quite optimistic on this,” says Sultan. “Trials are ongoing. Should the results be positive, we hope to offer broadband services by the end of 2009.”
Du must pay a fee to the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority before it launches a Wimax service, although the size of the fee has yet to be agreed.
Du launched its first fixed-line products in July 2007 over its own network, but to date they have only been available in Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City.
The company also has the right to sell fixed-line services over the network of its only rival, Etisalat, but Sultan says there are technical challenges, which Du has been unable to overcome.
“We do not anticipate this will happen within the same timeframe as Wimax,” he adds.
Du made its firstly quarterly profit between July and September this year.
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