The Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company
) is a telecommunications company in the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...
. Although Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company
is its legal name
The legal name of a business is the name under which the business conducts its operations.- United Kingdom :In the UK businesses that trade under names other than those of the owner or a corporate entity must display the name of owner and an address at which documents may be served, or the name and...
, it was commercially rebranded as du
in February 2006. The company, has invested AED 1.7 billion in 2011 and has a total of 4,993,600 active mobile subscribers, 623,7000 fixed-line telephony subscribers and 127,000 broadband internet subscribers. The company has no plans to expand beyond its home market in the U.A.E.
EITC is 40 percent owned by the UAE federal government, 20% by Mubadala Development Company
Mubadala Development Company PJSC was established in October 2002 as a Public Joint Stock Company and is a wholly owned investment vehicle of the Government of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates....
, 20% by TECOM Investments and 20% by public shareholders. It is listed on the Dubai Financial Market
The Dubai Financial Market is a stock exchange located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was founded on March 26, 2000.There are about 57 companies listed on DFM, most of them are UAE-based companies and a few dual listings for companies based in other MENA region countries. Many companies allow...
(DFM) and trades under the name du
du offers fixed and mobile telephony, broadband connectivity and IPTV services to individuals, homes and businesses, and carrier services for businesses.
On February 11, 2007, du launched its own mobile service with call tariffs almost identical to those of Etisalat, thus eliminating any possibility of price competition between the two providers. Subscribers to du mobile services can be identified by the dialing prefix 055.
The UAE telecom market is highly restricted, with both major players being largely government owned. There is little real competition, with the choice of provider generally determined by geographic location. du typically has a monopoly on freezones, while Etisalat has a monopoly elsewhere. As a result, contrary to the UAE's aspirations to be a major global IT hub, broadband internet provision in the UAE is among the slowest and most expensive in the world, with a current maximum available speed of 24 Mbit/s.
In March 2008, Du began selectively blocking VOIP traffic, preventing customers from using the computer-to-phone functionality of VOIP systems. The blocking is justified on the grounds that computer-to-phone VOIP services are illegal under UAE telecom law. Both of the telecoms providers in the UAE derive a large proportion of their income from expatriates making expensive international calls to their home countries.
However, a specific exemption in the telecom law permits the use of VOIP for computer-to-computer calls, and so it is still possible to access VOIP websites, download VOIP software, set up accounts and use the software to make computer-to-computer calls, both audio and video. If a computer-to-phone call is attempted, it will typically fail to connect unless a VPN is used (see below).
On April 14, 2008, du started instituting the same widespread censorship of the web that has been practised by Etisalat
Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, branded trade name Etisalat is a UAE based telecommunications services provider, currently operating in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa...
for some years. Any attempt to access content deemed 'inappropriate' by the UAE censor results in a 'blocked' page. As well as pornography, blocking includes blogs, forums and news articles that are critical of the UAE, as well as a proportion of sites that seem to be accidentally blocked as they have no obviously controversial content.