Du sees an exciting year ahead

2010 HAS BEEN yet another year of solid growth and achievement at Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, popularly known as du. We now serve over four million mobile customers in the country, and we are set to close the year with at least 37 per cent share of the mobile market.

According to the third quarter 2010 results, we not only sustained momentum in our mobile subscriber base, but also saw growth in our fixed-line subscriber base with an impressive 44 per cent year-on-year increase with 15,500 lines added during the quarter. Th outstanding growth in 2010 and the company’s overall achievement in just three years reflect the strength of our product and services and our focus on delivering to our customers across the UAE.

This year we clearly set out our intentions to be the broadband leader in the nation. This was evidenced in two key developments:

· The mobile-broadband network: We launched the region’s fastest mobile data network service, at 42.2 Mbps to 98 per cent of the population.

· The fixed-line broadband network: Our launch of real broadband means that du home and business customers can now enjoy up to 16 times faster download speeds at no extra charge.

Throughout the year we have been keen to launch products that meet our customers’ needs. Hence, whilst retaining our core value for money and innovation, a large number of new services have been offered including;

· The Elite 100 post-paid plan which is setting a new standard for consumer mobile services with a large range of inclusive benefits and excellent value for money

· Dedicated and tailored packages for enterprise and business customers including the Business Super Plan for SMEs, which offer users a bouquet of services, ensuring greater value for money and simplicity

· One World One Rate plan, which significantly simplifies international roaming tariffs for customers travelling outside of the country

· The launch of ‘Surf, Talk and Watch’ providing a simple package of advanced services for the home including the latest IP-TV technology for pause, rewind TV, movie download and 3D TV

Customers are now also able to avail of the du services by visiting two new flagship stores which were opened in Abu Dhabi and Dubai which offer our customers a spacious, creative and engaging environment.

Challenges and opportunities in 2011

We anticipate that 2011 will be as exciting as the year gone by and we aim to continue to deliver products and services to meet the needs of our customers. We look forward to the opportunity to extend our fixed-network services to a wider geographical reach and hence be able to extend our landline and real broadband services to more homes and businesses.

2011 will also bring us a significant opportunity to meet the needs of mobile customers with the arrival of Mobile Number Portability. We at du welcome TRA’s recent announcement to offer mobile number portability to all mobile customers in the UAE. We believe that this will offer greater choice and value for consumers and businesses in the UAE. Du has commenced full and comprehensive end-to-end testing of our systems and processes to ensure a seamless experience of MNP services to all customers.

(The writer is a Chief Commercial Officer at du.)

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