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NO. 1 Bi - Weekly for vacancies abroad.
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UAE telecom giant Etisalat to slash int’l tariff by up to 30%
Our UAE Correspondent

THE UAE’s telecom service provider Etisalat is planning to cut international call tariffs to various countries by up to 30 per cent, according to a top executive. This move is as part of the former monopoly trying to win back market share and stem the spread of internet-based phone calls.

If implemented, the reduction in tariffs will benefit Indian expatriates, as majority of the calls are to India. Following India is Pakistan and Philippines. The plans need regulatory approval and are at an early stage, but are likely to come into force in the second half of 2012, a top official was quoted as saying.

Etisalat already has a favoured country call plan where customers can get up to 40 per cent off standard tariffs. “On top of that, we’re studying whether to further reduce international rates. If we are going to implement something in landline, probably it will also be in mobile, because we wouldn’t cannibalise other product lines. A 10 to 30 per cent is what we are looking at across local and international calls. It should cover the most popular destinations,” he added.
International calls are a crucial revenue source for Etisalat and rival du, with about 89 per cent of UAE’s 8.3-million population foreigners. The proposed cuts come as Etisalat, which operates in 17 countries, refocusses on the domestic market.

According to a fourth-quarter results presentation, the UAE is home to about 6 per cent of Etisalat’s 167-million subscribers yet provided 73 per cent of revenue in 2011, with foreign units – which span from West Africa to Indonesia – providing limited revenue diversification. Etisalat faces a rising use of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services – free internet-to-internet calls and cheap internet-to-phone calls – as people upgrade to smart phones with VoIP capabilities and broadband penetration rises.

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