UAE Etisalat Slashes International Phone Rates
Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), the State-owned telecom
company of the United Arab Emirates, has slashed its overseas telephone call
rates to India and 37 other nations, in a move that will benefit the nearly
one million Indian expatriates in the Emirates.
Etisalat recently cut phone rates to India from Dh 6.43 per minute to Dh4.29 during peak hours and from Dh 4.50 to Dh 3.67 during off-peak hours. Off peak hours are from 9 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. from Saturday to Thursday and all day on Fridays and Public Holidays.
Etisalat also reduced call rates to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the
Financial Times reported. Calls to Pakistan will cost Dh 4.29 per minute as
compared to the previous rate of Dh 5.63 during peak hours and Dh3.67
instead of Dh 3.91 during off-peak hours. The call rates to India, which
were previously higher, are now almost even with the rates to Pakistan. ($1=Dh3.67)
An Etisalat statement conveyed that the fee cuts reflected the company's
commitment to its subscribers to offer the best services at globally
The company has been reaping profits despite slashing overseas and mobile
phone usage rates. A local newspaper reported that telephone call rates to
most Arab countries were reduced by 28.7 percent, while the rates to five
other Arab nations in the GCC were diminished by 10.3 percent. Calls to several
foreign countries, including Japan and Australia were slashed by nearly 50
percent, another newspaper reported.
Etisalat operated all of the phone networks in the UAE, and is 60 percent
owned by the UAE government, with the rest being held by UAE investors. It
reported net profits of Dh 1.97 billion ($537 million) in 1999, a 2.04
percent decline from 1998
Meanwhile, the Thoraya company for communication in Abu Dhabi signed a deal
with the National Communication Company in Iran to present services. Mohammed Omran, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Thoraya announced after signing the agreement in Tehran that this partnership would enhance the existence of Thoraya in the Iranian market, in addition to enhancing its commercial base on the regional level.
Thoraya Company is examining the feasibility of establishing a net of
regional satellites. The company's capital totals $500 million and it is
owned by many large Arab companies, including the Emirates Corporation for
Communication, Abu Dhabi Company for Investment, the Qatari Communication
Company and Arab Sat Company.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)