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07 May, 2005

Ball breaking

The official announcement arrives - the Big Golf Balls are no longer going to be alone at the party. Competition is coming. Albeit in the form of a 40% government owned entity, the UAE's telco monopoly is at last moving to a duopoly.

It remains to be seen whether the move represents true liberalisation or a WTO-appeasing Etisalat clone. Rather than putting the second licence to tender, the government is awarding it directly.

Stock market circles felt the company would be based in Dubai with operations throughout the UAE.

"It will be modelled along the lines of Etisalat," a TRA spokesman said.

But the most burning question is: proxy or no? Will Etisalat v2.0 also reduce html browsing to a 300 baud crawl as it scours every single URL for possible atrocities? Or will UAE netizens finally be able to Google "Octopussy"?



Blogger Keef said...

I seem to remember that the first announcement from the TRA (Telecoms Reulation Authority) said that any new entrant to the party would have to give the Government a 51% share. Or am I barking.

Anyway, this new announcement is fantastically vague - if anyone should be making it it should be Etisalat-2 themselves.

Proxy? You never know. TECOM has never had it (and they will be providing ISP service to Nakheel developments in future). Emaar's Sahmnet, I'm not sure.

I think that there is recognition from the Gubmnt that censorship has had its day and it's a complete waste of time to try to keep it going.

07 May, 2005 21:53  

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