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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Full telecoms competition in the UAE inches closer after du launches nationwide TV service

Operator to stream local channels and OSN content via new home plans

Du's launch of TV services outside Dubai marks the beginning of full telecoms competition in the UAE. Charles Crowell / The National
Du's launch of TV services outside Dubai marks the beginning of full telecoms competition in the UAE. Charles Crowell / The National

Du has announced the availability of limited home internet and TV packages across the UAE, marking the beginning of full competition in the UAE’s telecoms space 11 years after the second operator first launched services.

The extension of du’s Home Plan to customers outside the operator’s traditional footprint of Dubai means that UAE customers will for the first time be able to choose from which operator to receive “triple play” services, which encompass fixed line, broadband and TV services.

“We are offering a new level of flexibility for customers to tailor their packages and selected TV channels in efforts to enhance the home experience across the UAE and meet the growing demand of tailored and customised TV/Video content,” said Fahad Al Hassawi, deputy chief executive officer of telco services at du’s holding company EITC.

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Du’s TV services outside Dubai will be delivered via streaming services du View and OSN’s Wavo streaming platform, as opposed to Du’s traditional IPTV offering. Content available includes OSN’s Sports and Movies suite, together with local UAE channels.

The operator clarified that less than 300 channels will be initially available via the streaming services, compared with over 600 channels available via IPTV.

Competition between du and Etisalat in fixed and broadband services commenced in 2015, after the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) allowed the operators to “bitstream” on each other’s fixed telecoms network.

The TRA has yet to permit operators to bitstream IPTV services, which require the use of far greater bandwidth.

Etisalat did not respond to questions about whether it plans to launch similar TV service offerings in du’s home territory of Dubai.