Etisalat free calls initiative to have little impact

81 per cent of UAE residents say mobile is their most important piece of technology

Image Credit: Gulf News archives
An Etisalat retail store in the Dubai Mall.

Dubai: Etisalat’s move to make landline calls in the UAE free will have little impact on the market place.

“Current move by Etisalat appears to be in line with company’s strategy to strengthen its market position, over the past six to eight months it has also taken other similar initiatives to counter growing competitive intensity first by introducing pay-per-use mobile tariff plans and then by streamlining offerings for SMEs in the country,” Bhanu Chaddha, senior research analyst at IDC, told Gulf News.

He said Etisalat’s move may also be in preparation of the launch of fixed network sharing that has been delayed for few years now. Once launched, fixed network sharing will enable du to offer fixed line services in areas where it is currently not allowed to offer these services.

As of March 31, 2013, there are more than 14 million mobile subscribers in the UAE compared to 1.67 million fixed line subscribers.

UAE’s mobile phone penetration is of the highest in the world.

“The new initiative will have a small impact on the usage as inter-emirate calls will be free of charge,” said Deepak Babani, CEO of Eros Group.

As of now, inter-emirate calls are chargeable and from July 1, it will be totally free.

He said that he does not use landline and for convenience purpose most people use only mobile phones.

According to Mohammad Nazar V.K., an engineer at Adnoc, Etisalat has done a good job but at the wrong time. Most of the people use mobile phones and I have never used the fixed line for the past one year. So the new initiative is really not going to impact my telephone bills.

“What etisalat should have done is make the landline calls to mobile phone free and it would have benefited many residents and reduced their monthly telephone bills. I hope that both the telcom operators will do the same in the near future,” he said.

He said that many of the residents are using mobile phones than fixed lines to make calls, so making landline calls free will not make much of a difference.

According to a recent study by TNS Mena, 83 per cent of users in the UAE agree that mobile “is an extension of me; I feel lost without it.” 81 per cent stated their mobile is their most important technology gadget.

Ashish Panjabi, COO at Jacky’s Electronics, is not sure of how many people will use the landline following etisalat’s new move.

“Telco operators are offering free bundled minutes with each package and most of the people are texting, instead of making calls,” he said.


  • rajiv

    03-Jun-2013 17:18

    i need a feed back about etisalat USB data card, is it have enough for using youtube and watching online movies.

  • ansari

    03-Jun-2013 17:02

    This is definitely pain for me. I use landlines only call grocery, laundry and receiving call only. i dont have any business with other emirates. i am paying Dh15 per month and now the new scheme etisalat force me to pay Dh39 without any usage, Etisalat will bring it with optional it would be great.

  • Tina

    03-Jun-2013 15:05

    Not an impressive move. Etisalat services are way too OVER priced. This will not help citizens to cut the phone bills as very few are using land line. And they know it so this is a desperate marketing strategy. I pay for my e-life AED 229 per month, which equals to 47 EUR. It includes basic TV package, internet and landline. The same package in Europe will cost you 10 EUR and it includes VAT, which is in average 20%. So why do we pay here 6x times more??? In Europe people get free weekend calls to all networks and many other special offers.


    03-Jun-2013 11:30

    For now, the land line i use is rental free. I really dont know whether i have to pay this Dh39 per month.


    03-Jun-2013 11:23

    Is it good news? This is not a free service, the existing user will have to pay Dh39 per month instead of current charges of Dh15 per month, then how it is free? it will increase the burden over most people. Strange style of Marketing!

  • Abdul Majeed

    03-Jun-2013 10:52

    Thats definitely good news. Now if people still prefer to use mobiles and pay for it that does not mean this is not a good offer. Thanks Etisalat for this. It helps in these days of rising costs. Also, Enoc/Eppco should be thanked for reducing deisel prices as it will reduce costs of some goods (hopefully). I dont agree with those negative people who do not appreciate such decisions and cannot be grateful for anything in life.

  • roshan thomas

    03-Jun-2013 10:40

    I do agree that the usage of mobile phones is prevalent as they are handy and convenient. Therefore, the impact of the current offer from etisalat might not bring much impact as is anticipated. Yet, its a great offer as i can use the landline to call up friends and relatives in the country free of cost.

  • Lona

    03-Jun-2013 10:39

    Etisalat recently introduced the transaction fee of 5% - this should be reversed as its seen in very bad light by mobile users who feel cheated !

  • Saqeer SV

    03-Jun-2013 10:19

    Use land line whenever possible as it is free now and avoid radiation exposure from mobile phones.

  • Baiju

    03-Jun-2013 10:11

    When Etisalat will reduce Internet Charges? We are hearing the news about plans of slashing Internet charges since long time. still waiting for that.

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