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Du to speed up services at current tariff rates

Plans to ramp up its fixed line broadband by up to 16 times with tariffs at existing levels

Gulf News

Dubai : Telecoms operator du will ramp up broadband speeds by up to 16 times next month while keeping customer tariffs at existing levels, a senior executive said.

Available for its fixed-line services, these speeds can be used by the operator's business subscribers from August 1 and from August 15 at homes.

This initiative and its pricing, the company believes, would place it right at the top of the heap among regional telecoms on similar services and comparable with even some in Europe.

Fareed Faraidooni, du's chief commercial officer, confirmed that investments on the required network capacity upgrades were made last year itself and totalled $100 million.

The broadband space will remain the most hotly contested among telecom providers, local and regional, going forward as the industry lays the foundation for migration to 4G (fourth generation) services. Customers stand to benefit.

Shared platform

Meanwhile, an agreement will shortly be in place under which both telecom operators in the country will be able to offer their range of fixed-line services across the length and breadth of the country on a shared infrastructure platform.

Such an agreement already exists for mobile telephony services and the addition of fixed-lines represents the next logical step. "We are at the very last stages of concluding the agreement with the other telecom operator and, of course, under the umbrella of the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA)," said Faraidooni.

"This is purely for sharing fixed-line services nationwide. We have been in discussion for quite some time. Some announcements can be expected very soon on the progress (and) when each company will be expected to offer services."

For du, this means an opportunity to secure a wider reach in the other emirates over and above what it has done on the mobile telephony side. But Faraidooni reckons this works to the advantage of all concerned.

"It's a win-win situation for the two operators, the industry and for obvious reasons the consumer," he said. "For the first time in the UAE, the home consumer will have a true choice between the two operators."

New package

Faster content

Under du's Surf & Talk package, broadband and landline services can be accessed by customers at bandwidths starting from 8Mbps (Dh199 a month), 16Mbps (Dh259) and 24Mbps (Dh349). From August onwards, the content will be delivered that much faster. Du is also offering a ‘Surf, Talk and Watch' package that includes landline, broadband and du TV at a single price. The packages start from Dh249 a month for 8Mbps, Dh309 for 16Mbps and Dh399 for 24Mbps.

— M.N.