Etisalat has published in a company document its intention to conclude a deal to allow sharing of fixed-line telecommunications services in the UAE by the end of 2014, according to Reuters.
The agreement, called bitstream access or network sharing, has been the subject of discussions between Du and Etisalat since 2009, although no agreement was made to date.
"Etisalat anticipates that the bitstream access service will be launched by the end of 2014,” the company said. du entered the market in 2007, ending the Etisalat monopoly in the country.du and Etisalat offer fixed-line telephone, broadband and television packages, but not in the same districts. du only works in the newer Dubai areas and the company is expecting to expand its activity in the country.
du's chief executive Osman Sultan said that the lack of fixed line competition was constricting earnings growth after the company reported a 4.8% rise in profit for the first three months of this year.
Fixed line average revenue per user (ARPU), a key industry benchmark, was AED115 ($31) in 2013, the same as a year earlier, but down from AED130 in 2011.