x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Telecom firms agree on deal to avoid slow service

Etisalat and du sign deal to avoid slowdowns due to broken underwater cables.

ABU DHABI // A deal between the telecommunications companies should mean internet users no longer suffer slowdowns in services due to broken undersea cables.

Etisalat and du are to sign an agreement within days to use each other's cables in the event of a break, the head of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said yesterday.

"If during a crisis one cable ripped in the sea, the two companies would help each other," said Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim.

Mr Al Ghanim was presenting the TRA's crisis plan at the Risk Management and Crisis Conference. He said uninterrupted communication was a must at such times.

"This plan put forth was complied with huge joint efforts with the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority and Etisalat," he said. "But this is nothing if there is no real execution to the plan. By the end of this year there will be real training because of this."

Mr Al Ghanim said Etisalat was buying additional equipment to help it maintain its services during such situations.

"After we buy them and install them, then we will have drills," he added. "We will work on real training to find any gaps that we can fill later on."

He said the telecoms companies had learned from last year's internet interruption and were working to ensure similar problems do not arise in the future.

"Seventy per cent of the third generation was not working for 30 minutes in 2011 but we will avoid such occurrence in the future," said Mr Al Ghanim.