The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has denied reports that the Gulf state is looking to issue a third operator licence.
Last week, Arabic language website Alitihad reported the TRA's deputy director general HE Majed Al Memsas as saying that in 2015 the regulator would open the UAE's market to a third telecommunications provider.
In a statement issued today, however, the regulator said that it believed incumbents Etisalat and Du were currently meeting the needs of the UAE’s market and that recent reports in the media suggesting otherwise were “misleading”.
“The TRA sees no need to add a new operator to the UAE market at this time; hence it has no immediate intention to do so,” said HE Majed Al Mesmar.
“What was circulated in [a] few local newspapers is misleading and does not accurately express the actual statements of the TRA regarding the issue.”
As things presently stand, Etisalat and du for the most part operate in different segments of the local market, with smaller du mainly providing fixed-line services in areas such as Dubai’s free zones.
One area in which the two do compete is the UAE's mobile telecommunications market, which has one of the highest penetration rates in the region.