etisalat to offer ‘triple play’ service soon

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etisalat to offer ‘triple play’ service soon
By Ivan Gale, Staff Reporter/GULF NEWS Published: August 19, 2007, 23:05

Dubai: etisalat expects to offer ‘triple play’ service to more than 100,000 customers this quarter once government regulators approve its pricing scheme, its chief executive said.

Triple play is a bundled service delivering fixed line and high-speed TV and internet over one cable into the home or office. It is often touted as producing cost savings to operators and customers.

“Customers will be able to receive state of the art technology at very high broadband speeds,” Mohammad Al Qamzi said. “This will be high-definition TV and internet will also be at very high speeds.”

Reduced costs

The etisalat CEO said an immediate benefit to the company would be reduced costs on maintenance and equipment.

“This is where the future of telecom is, where we can serve customers at a lower price and higher bandwidth.”

The product rollout will first be offered to subscribers of etisalat’s e-vision TV service because these customers already have installed the necessary cabling into their homes.

A pricing plan has already been submitted to the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

The bundling will target higher sales of each of the three services offered, including the unprofitable e-vision division.

The initiative is the first step in a multi-year plan for the company, as it develops a next-generation network composed entirely of IP-based technology.

After completing its core network in Dubai and Abu Dhabi last year, the telecom provider will spend the next three years installing soft switches and fibre optic cabling throughout the country, Al Qamzi said. “We are now going for the ‘last mile’ – deploying fibre to the customer,” he said.

The first recipients of this high-bandwidth, all-IP network will be 27,000 residents in Abu Dhabi after etisalat successfully replaces the first of several hundred legacy switches. The new network should debut in Abu Dhabi in two months.

The project comes at a time when businesses and consumer are increasingly consuming higher data traffic, the CEO said.

“Internationally, voice [revenues] are declining, but data is increasing – that’s where the growth is.”

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