Regulator defends warning as Du misses launch date

20 July 2007
The UAE's telecoms regulator has defended its role after analysts questioned why it gave a warning to an operator for failing to launch a new service on time.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) sent a written warning to Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du) after it missed its 12 July deadline to launch a fixed-line telephone service.

But one analyst tells MEED he was confused by the regulator's actions as Du missed the deadline because the launch was hampered by problems with access to the network of its rival Etisalat.

Wael Ziada, telecoms analyst at Cairo-based EFG-Hermes, says: 'I do not know why the TRA keeps criticising [Du]. My understanding is that it was promised access to the fixed-line infrastructure, but was not given access to it on time.'

Rasheed Joumblatt, a spokesman for the TRA, says it acted impartially and did not favour incumbent Etisalat.

'We are as transparent as the pure waters of a blue and tiled swimming pool,' Joumblatt says.

Earlier this year, the TRA actually gave Du permission to offer fixed-line voice calls over Etisalat's network. Etisalat gave Du access to a test environment on 2 July.

Du identified technical problems, which it says Etisalat needs to fix. Etisalat denies it had responsibility for the problems.

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