Definition• Telecommunication is the exchange ofinformation over significant distances byelectronic means.• It includes: Voice, video, and Internetcommunications services.
Introduction• Fostering telecommunications is a major part ofUAE Government strategy, main component ofpublic infrastructure.• Today, telecommunications across all platformsin the UAE are fast and effective with fixed-line, internet and mobile connectivity among thebest in the world.• The UAE’ telecommunications sector is regulatedby the UAE’s Telecommunications RegulatoryAuthority (TRA) and is presently serviced by twotelecommunications operators, Etisalat and du.
Telecommunications RegulatoryAuthority• The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority(TRA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hasbeen established according to the UAEFederal Law.• It was established in 2003
• It was established to ensure sustainability,competitiveness and transparency among theservice providers, customers and shareholders.• TRA is responsible for the management ofevery aspect of the telecommunications andinformation technology industries in the UAE.• Organizational objectives of TRA are derivedfrom the UAE Telecommunications Law.
Board of directors at theTRAChairman, TRABoard of DirectorsH.E. Mohamad BinAhmad Al-Qamzi
Objectives of TRAEnsuring adequacy of telecommunications services throughout theUAE. Ensuring quality of service and adherence to terms of licenses bylicensees.encouraging telecommunications and IT services within the UAE. resolving disputes between the licensed operatorsestablishing and implementing a regulatory and policy framework;promoting new technologies.developing the country’s human capital; and encouraging researchand development.
Powers of TRA• Overseeing the telecommunications sector andlicensees to provide telecommunications services.• Monitoring competition in the telecom sector• Approving telecom equipment.• Managing radio frequency.• Issuing regulations and policies governing theimportation, use and dealing of telecommunicationsequipment.
• Developing the telecom and IT sectorthrough launching initiatives aiming at servingthe society at large and the sector in specific.• Issuing the required authorizations to usespectrum frequency and wirelessequipments.
Changes in UAE telecommunication• Since the inception of the TRA, the United ArabEmirates telecommunications infrastructure hasbecome more sophisticated.• It enabled competition in the market bylicensing the second telecom operator “Du”,resulted to enhance communications servicesand offer users with more options and choices.
• In January 2010, the TelecommunicationsRegulatory Authority, in keeping with one of itscore missions announced telecommunications"Competition Framework“.• The "Framework", is the first to be developed byTRA.• Provides a detailed outline benefitingtelecommunications consumers by promotingand protecting competition through preventingLicensees from engaging in activities that mayhinder competition in the UAEtelecommunications sector.
• Why competition?• Competition is the drive for development,where it leads to higher quality of services,lower prices and the adoption of latesttechnologies. It pumps innovation andprogress into the veins of the sector.• In may,2010 The TRA officially launched one ofthe first non-English top-level domain names inthe Arab world.• That is .emarat (dot emarat)
• UAE is one of the first four countries in thehistory of the internet to secure aninternationalized top level domain name.• The name will allow people to access websitesentirely with Arabic characters.• It helps to foster innovation and creativity, andprovide better branding opportunities for localcompanies.• It will open up access to the internet to moreArabic speakers.
Emirates TelecommunicationsCorporation(Etisalat)• UAE based telecommunications services provider;currently operating in 18 countries across Asia, theMiddle East and Africa.• As of February 2011, Etisalat is the 16th largest Mobilenetwork operator in the world, with total customerbase of more than 135 million.• On 10 February 2011, Etisalat reported net revenue ofUSD $8.4 billion (AED 31.9 billion) & net profits of USDUS$2.078bn (AED 7.631 billion).• Etisalat has 510 roaming agreements covering 186countries & enabling BlackBerry, 3G, GPRS and voiceroaming.
HISTORY• 1991 - UAE central government issued Federal Law No. 1,giving the corporation the right to providetelecommunications wired and wireless services in thecountry, & between UAE and other countries.• It also gave the firm the right to issue licenses for owning,importing, manufacturing, using or operatingtelecommunication equipment. This practically gaveEtisalat both regulatory and control powers, whichcompleted the monopoly of the telecom giant in theUAE.
BUSINESS UNITSEtisalat incorporates additional non-telecom business units underthe umbrella of “Etisalat Services Holding LLC”. These units supportthe companys operations & provide services to other operatorsand organizations, namely:Ω training and consultancy services (Etisalat Academy),Ω SIM/smart card manufacturing and payment solutions(Ebtikar),Ω data clearing house services (EDCH),Ω peering/voice and data transit (Emirates InternetExchange – EMI X ),Ω call center (The Contact Centre),Ω cable TV (eVision),Ω facilities management (EFM),Ω submarine cable laying services (eMarine).
ETISALAT INTERNATIONALINVESTMENTSIt is the business unit of Etisalat; operatesoutside the UAE & manages thecorporations stakes in telecommunicationscarriers in Afghanistan, the Central AfricanRepublic, India, Indonesia, Iran, the IvoryCoast, Egypt, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan,Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, etc.
ETISALAT UAEEtisalat UAE is headquartered in Abu Dhabiand includes three regional offices – AbuDhabi, Dubai, and Northern Emirates.
ABU DHABI REGION• Etisalat Chairman : Mohamed Hassan Omran.• Etisalat A/CEO: Nasser Bin Abood.• Senior Vice President Marketing : Khalifa Al Forah Al Shamsi.• Group Senior Vice President – Corporate Communications : AhmedBin Ali.• The advanced infrastructure allows utilization of the most advancedtechnology applications to the UAE market. Its high-speedbroadband internet enables users to enjoy multiple high bandwidthapplications such as IPTV and online gaming in an integrated singleinterface for landline, internet and television-based services,providing a truly converged digital home experience to its customers.
INTERNET SERVICESThe number of Etisalats Internet subscribersreportedly stands at 1.02 millionSome Internet services that Etisalat offershome users include:∂ 3G Mobile Internet access,∂ Broadband Internet services (Al Shamil andeLife),∂ Prepaid and post-paid dialup Internetaccess.
iZone - a system of Wi-Fi hotspots in centrallocations, like shopping malls, restaurants, &sheesha cafes.iZone can be accessed by either:∆ purchasing prepaid cards (AED 15/hour), or,∆ if using an existing account with the operator(AED 3/hour for dial-up account holders, orAED 10/hour for broadband users).Dial-up and ISDN Internet access services arebilled by the hour, whereas domestic andresidential cable & DSL connections have afixed monthly rate depending on speed.
INTERNET CENSORSHIP• Etisalat operates an Internet content filteringsystem that blocks access to web resources.• These resources are claimed to be controversialor offensive (i.e. sexually explicit content,certain political and religious websites, proxies)or harmful (i.e. numeric IP addresses, knownphishing or malicious websites, botnetcommand servers).• The use of content filtering is mandated by theTelecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)of UAE.
The type of content restricted by Etisalatincludes:¤ Pornography, nudity and sexually explicit content.¤ The entire Israel country code top-level domain.¤ Certain media-sharing websites.¤ Anti-Islamic websites.¤ Sites criticizing the UAE (like UAEprison, Arab Times).¤ Anonymous proxy sites (like vtunnel, pzeg etc).¤ Gay and Lesbian Rights websites (such as Gaydar,Mogenic, etc.)¤ Numerical IP address links (for e.g., http://10.11.1.1/).¤ Voice over IP services providers websites (like Skype,Vonage).
Fig shows breakdown of revenue(as on Dec, 2010) (Source: Etisalatannual report 2010)
About du• Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company- legal name; commercially rebranded as du(February 2006).• Competition in the UAE telecom sector started defacto in early 2007 when du launched its mobilenetwork services ending nearly 30 years oftelecommunications monopoly by Etisalat.• The company invested AED 1.7 billion in 2011 andhas a total of 4,993,600 active mobile subscribers,623,7000 fixed-line telephony subscribers & 127,000broadband internet subscribers.• The company has no plans to expand beyond itshome market in the U.A.E.
OwnershipEITC is owned by :UAE federal government (40%),Mubadala Development Company (20%),TECOM Investments (20%), andpublic shareholders (20%).It is listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM)and trades under the name du.
Services>du offers: fixed and mobile telephony,broadband connectivity and IPTV servicesto individuals, homes and businesses, andcarrier services for businesses.>February 11, 2007 - du launched its ownmobile service with call tariffs almostidentical to those of Etisalat, thus eliminatingany possibility of price competition betweenthe two providers.>Subscribers to du mobile services can beidentified by the dialing prefix “055”.
Survey results by TRASERVICE COVERAGE : This parameter measures the availability of service coveragein the regions. Therefore it measures the networks ability to achieve theminimum signal strength of - 100dBm.Figure : Coverage Level in *Single Mode (2G) and **Dual Mode (2G/3G)– Year 2010.*Single Mode: Here the mobile device is locked to the 2G Network(GSM) and not allowed to handover to the 3G Network (UMTS).** Dual Mode: Here the mobile device is allowed to handover between
Criticism‡ Little real competition; with choice ofprovider generally determined bygeographic location.‡ du typically has a monopoly on freezones,while Etisalat has a monopoly elsewhere;thus broadband internet provision in the UAEis among the slowest and most expensive inthe world, with a current maximumavailable speed of 24 Mbit/s.
CensorshipØMarch 2008 - du began selectively blockingVOIP traffic, preventing customers from usingthe computer-to-phone functionality of VOIPsystems.ØHowever, a specific exemption in thetelecom law permits the use of VOIP forcomputer-to-computer calls, and so it is stillpossible to access VOIP websites, downloadVOIP software, set up accounts and use thesoftware to make computer-to-computercalls, both audio and video.
CensorshipØApril 14, 2008 - du started instituting the samewidespread censorship of the web practised byEtisalat. Attempts to access content deemedinappropriate by the UAE censor result in ablocked page.ØAs well as pornography, blocking includesblogs, forums and news articles that are criticalof the UAE, as well as a proportion of sites thatseem to be accidentally blocked as they haveno obviously controversial content.
STATISTICSContribution of telecommunicationsector to UAE’s GDP2007 4.1%2008 4.4%2009 4.9%2010 5.3%
Fixed Telephony –Number of FixedLines• At the end of 2010,there wereapproximately 1.5million fixed telephonylines in the UAE. This represents 6% decreasefrom 2009.• The number of residential lines between2009–2010 fell by 20% while number ofbusiness lines increased by 7%.
Mobile Service• The number of active mobile subscriptions increasedby2.4% between December 2009 and December2010.• Revenues generated from mobile services increasedby 3.4% in 2010,from AED17,787 million to AED18,400million.• Total SMS messages sent decreased by 9% between2009 and 2010.• Total MMS messages sent decreased by 25%between 2009 and 2010
Internet Services –Revenue• Internet revenues increased by 8% between2009 and 2010 from AED2,532 million toAED2,733million.• This revenue growth can be attributed in partto the increasing proportion of subscribers onbroadband rather than dial-up packages.