Business | Telecoms

Etisalat, Du flood UAE market with promotions

Consumers are spoilt for choice as the UAE's two telecom providers flood the market with tit-for-tat promotions and discounts

  • Jay B. Hilotin, Xpress
  • Published: 00:00 May 20, 2010
  • XPRESS

Landline

ETISALAT: 50 fils/min

Etisalat's Favourite Country Plan allows you to make calls to a selected country at 50 fils per minute. It is ideal for people who need to be in close touch with loved ones back home, and is seen as a counter-offer to du's Homephone plan. Offer period lasts until August 9, 2010. Callers must pay a connection charge of Dh1 per call (offer 1) or Dh20 per month (offer 2). Call rate for other local and international calls remain unchanged. Dial 125 to subscribe.

DU : 60 fils/minute

Du's Homephone post-paid service allows you to call from a du or etisalat landline using a du international call gateway for 60 fils per minute on off-peak hours (9pm to 9am). Peak-hour calls are charged Dh1.80 per minute (3 fils per second) for the first five minutes and 90 fils per minute after the fifth minute. Charging no monthly subscription, du also offers outright discounts to Homephone customers of 31 per cent on overseas phone calls made from an etisalat landline. Customers must pre-register with a du partner store to use the service.

Blackberry

ETISALAT: Dh49/month

Blackberry Unlimited Social Package - for Dh49 per month.

Designed mainly for youngsters and urban professionals, so they can stay online any time, anywhere, through Yahoo Messenger, Blackberry Messenger, ICQ and Facebook, among others. This scheme has set a new benchmark (compared to a regular Blackberry service, which still costs Dh185 per month). To subscribe, just type "r bis49" and send SMS to 1010. No documents required.

DU: 3-6 months free

Free Blackberry service for 3 to 6 months.

A lot of mobile phone users have switched to Blackberry (BB) to take advantage of this offer. Since du charges Dh130 per month for a BB service, pay-as-you-go customers can get outright savings of Dh390, with free service for the first three months. Those who travel a lot also get a 50 per cent discount on unlimited international Blackberry service.

 Online 8.8 fils/min

Etisalat and du have both announced plans to start Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, while reports say internet phone firm Skype is talking to regional operators for possible partnerships. Going by the prevailing VoIP rates, you will most likely be paying just 8.8 fils per minute to call.

Comments (8)

  1. Added 23:15 May 20, 2010

    Kindly note that the 50 fils/min call system is still not working. I’m one of the affected. Since May 10 I have made several calls to etisalat to activate this service but they just keep saying sorry about it. They also don’t know when they will solve the problem.

    Abdul Jabbar, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 22:54 May 20, 2010

    We still need a few more telecom players in the market for the competition to become more consumer-friendly, as it happens in the subcontinent where you find different stunning packages such as the bulk SMS package. I just wish there are more service providers in the market soon.

    nadeem, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 18:37 May 20, 2010

    They both can go on offering more promotions but are they addressing customers’ complaints? I had my internet connection upgraded from ADSL (4MB) to eLife (30MB) on April 12, but from that day onwards the browsing speed has become very slow. I have been calling etisalat every day but no action has been taken. Every time I called 101, they said my complaint has been sent to the technical department and that they will give me a call. No call has come until now.

    Javeed, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 18:11 May 20, 2010

    Good news for consumers in this age of inflation.

    Faiqa, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 17:51 May 20, 2010

    Broadband internet rates in the UAE are one of the highest in the world. And what about VoIP? It is not yet there officially.

    Padiyath, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 17:04 May 20, 2010

    Come on... these rates are still too high. In India, telecom companies paid government $15 billion just to get a 3G licence and still the telecom rates are so low.

    Bijoy K., Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 16:16 May 20, 2010

    Good to hear about the promos but I hope etisalat and du will also bring down their prices for their internet services permanently and not just as a promo. Compared to Singapore, internet connection/subscription is very expensive in the UAE.

    GoalSoul, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 15:13 May 20, 2010

    Etisalat and du, with their similar promotions, are trying to confuse customers. Etisalat brings out a promotion where the rates are counted in minutes, and du comes up with a similar promotion where the rates are counted in seconds. I really wonder whom they are targeting. Whatever their efforts may be, I wish good luck to the customers. Anyhow, customers tend to have the last laugh in any competition.

    Agniyah Shaikh, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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