Telecom charges ‘very high’, shows KT online poll

Telecom charges ‘very high’, shows KT online poll


Telecom charges ‘very high’, shows KT online poll

By a staff reporter

3 June 2006

DUBAI — The telecommunication services in the UAE are very expensive and steps should be taken to make them affordable, results of an online poll conducted by Khaleej Times suggests.

Posed the poll question “Are telecommunication charges very high in the UAE?”, an overwhelming majority of the respondents replied in the affirmative and made comparisons to charges for similar services in neighbouring countries and particularly in the Indian subcontinent.

Respondents attributed  the situation to lack of competition in the UAE's telecommunication sector which has been dominated so far entirely by one corporation.

Syed Ali, a resident of Dubai said, “Yes, just compare (the charges) to the charges in other parts of the world; it is very high (here). If the charges are reduced like in the USA, believe me the profit will increase manifold.”

According to D Rajikumar of Abu Dhabi, “Charging Dh20 per month as rental for Internet subscription is too high a price.” Telecommunication services are expensive here, he said, and added that they appear more expensive when compared with charges in other countries.

Arim Shahzad Khan of Dubai opined that it was no wonder the charges were very high here as a considerable percentage of the residents are expatriates. He believes the service provider must reduce its cost to a minimum possible. “It's very clear they are collecting money with both hands,” he said.

He pointed out that the corporation levies charges for reconnection and other such services, which are provided free of charge in many other countries.

“I advice my family members and friends to call me from India, since it's cheaper that way,” said Noushad from Al Ain. He believes that compared to the UAE, there is a major competition between various telecom service providers in the subcontinent, and this benefits the customers by bringing down the prices. Etisalat is the only option in the UAE, he pointed out.

Despite the rapid pace of development being experienced in the UAE, a part of the telecom services have remained underdeveloped, Sumera, a respondent from Dubai opined. “Telecommunication is the lifeblood for all kinds of development. It is very sad that VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is still a big dream for all of us,” she said.

Mabel from Abu Dhabi suggested that the concession rate system should be extended to Thursdays and Saturdays also.

“From past one decade, the telecommunications sector has seen vast advances. Communication has become cheaper with loads of services added. But in this region, there was no big change in the prices or the facilities which are affordable,” said Chetan from Dubai.

He called for opening up the sector for more players so as to create a competitive and vibrant telecom market in the UAE.

Salman believes that “Etisalat is the domain of communication for the UAE, but people are not”. He pointed out that in Pakistan and India telecom charges are very low, although these countries are still to reach the affluent lifestyle so commonplace in the UAE

source: Khaleej Times

  • 03-Jun-2006 00:00
  • Muhammad Farooq
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