Etisalat Five Connection Sim Card. Image Credit: Javed Nawab/Gulf News

Dubai: A new prepaid SIM card, offering low calling rates, has been unofficially launched in the UAE and is powered by the etisalat network.

The new mobile service is called ‘Five prepaid mobile connection’ and an etisalat call centre spokesperson said that it is a third-party service and is maintained by etisalat.

The call rates are quite cheap for international calls and the big advantage is that the flat rates are applicable throughout the day and there is no need to subscribe to any promotion or bundle offers.

The card is not available at any of the etisalat outlets or business centres and in most shops, and many people do not even know about the existence of the card, including etisalat business centres. The SIM is currently being sold at select mobile shops and groceries at labour accommodations.

“It is a soft launch and I heard about this card almost a month ago. I think what etisalat is trying to create is a totally different brand — etisalat SIM for a certain category and Five SIM for a different category,” an industry expert who did not want to be named said.

He said that they must be targeting the customers which they lost to du. Etisalat launched the “per second billing” very late and du churns most of its revenues from the bottom of the pyramid segment. Etisalat is trying to create a “new identity”, he said.

Etisalat did not respond to Gulf News queries at the time of going to press.

The SIM costs Dh10 and it comes with a pre-loaded welcome credit of Dh1.

Five SIM card charges Dh0.005 per second to India while etisalat SIM charges four fils per second. The data charges are Dh0.20 per MB while Etisalat SIM charges two fils per KB.

The recharges on the Five Sunrise SIM card has no validity and for every recharge, 20 per cent recharge bonus is added to the credit and does not expire. The recharges can be done by any etisalat recharge vouchers or Five VoIP calling cards available in the market. The SIM does not have roaming facility.

Five prepaid connection comes with lifetime validity but in case users do not use the connection for three consecutive months, the main account balance will be forfeited and your line will be temporarily suspended. After this, you have 30 days to recharge the connection and use it. If no recharge or usage is observed in these 30 days, the line will be considered as no longer in use.ceased.