News Column

UAE second in Networked Readiness Index of WEF

June 19, 2014

Etisalat, du to discuss pricing of network infrastructure sharing

The UAE's two telecom operators are expected to use each other's infrastructure on fixed-line, Internet and other services, allowing more competition in the market.

"Technically, they are ready," said Majed Al Mesmar, deputy director-general of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, or TRA.

He told reporters that only issue that needs to be settled between etisalat and du was as to how to price the usage. Both telecom operators are sorting out the matter, which he expects to be concluded by year-end.

The telecom watchdog has been working with them on the sharing of infrastructure and said the authority does not want to impose its decision on them.

Earlier, revealing the results of the "ICT in UAE; Business Survey 2013" report, Al Mesmar said that the UAE was ranked second on the Networked Readiness Index of the World Economic Forum.

According to the findings of the survey, the usage of information and communication technologies has risen in the country in 2013 compared with 2011, which has its effects on business.

The survey spanned multiple services including fixed telephony, mobile telephony, Internet, advanced telecommunication services and e-commerce. Across these services, the survey examined the access to and the use of ICT by businesses in the UAE along with their engagement in e-commerce and their satisfaction levels. The survey revealed that every business unit in the country had a fixed telephone line, a personal computer and 95 per cent had an Internet connection, making it an electronically-linked nation.

Al Mesmar said that 49 per cent of employees were using the Internet at work, 65 per cent of businesses provided their employees with a paid mobile phone, 40 per cent of them had a postpaid subscription only and 66 per cent of them spent more than Dh1,000 a month on mobile telephony.

The deputy director-general said 75 per cent of businesses had website presence and 95 per cent of them had some type of advanced network services. The ICT survey found that 28 per cent of businesses spent more than Dh3,000 per month on fixed telephony, Al Mesmar.

There was a very high level of internet connectivity as 95 per cent of businesses had a connection; of those 87 per cent had a fixed broadband connection and 49 per cent of employees were using the Internet at work.

With the high standard of telecom services, 93 per cent of businesses were satisfied with their overall fixed and mobile telephone services.

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Source: Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)

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