du and Etisalat in infrastructure sharing agreement

UAE-based telcos, du and Etisalat have joined hands in an infrastructure sharing agreement following which customers will be able to choose their TV service provider by next year.

The first phase of infrastructure sharing will allow for competition between du and Etisalat in fixed voice and fixed broadband access only. The second phase will also allow TV. Currently, consumers are obliged to use either Etisalat or du for home and fixed-line services, depending on their location.

“I think a 12 months period or a year framework would be a reasonable guess,” said Osman Sultan, chief executive of du. “It is a little bit complicated to get the TV connection.”

The agreement, which will allow free competition between the country’s telecoms duopoly, has been postponed for several years. The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority expects infrastructure sharing between the two operators to start by the end of this year.