UAE residents will be able to choose freely between etisalat and du for their broadband services by end of the year.
The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced Tuesday that new technology will allow the UAE's two telecoms providers to share the network throughout the country.
"Etisalat and du compete strongly in mobile services and we can all see the benefits that competition in mobile services has brought to the UAE. We will soon enter a phase of strong competition in fixed services and we expect similar benefits to flow as a result," said Mohammad Al Ganem, Director General of the TRA.
Matthew Reed, an analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media, welcomed the decision. "It means that we finally have competition in the fixed broadband market in the UAE for the first time," he said.
But he believes that prices are unlikely to fall for consumers in the short term. "I think they will avoid a price war. They will probably try to compete on packages, higher internet speeds at the same price," he said. "As a consumer, overall you should have more competition, which means there will be better opportunities available."
Meanwhile, the leaders of both etisalat and du welcomed the move.
"Etisalat has always believed that competition is a win-win situation for all as it energises operators to excel and stimulates telecommunications advancement in the country... We are fully prepared for a more competitive landscape in the UAE," Saeed Al Hamli, CEO of etisalat, said.
Othman Sultan, CEO of du, added: "We are equally pleased about the opportunity to provide consumers and businesses across the UAE a choice in their selection of a fixed line services provider."
From / Gulf News