Etisalat to cut broadband rates by 50%

Telecom giant to cut rates on calls to India, Philippines

Indians and Filipinos living in the UAE will be able to enjoy a cut of up to 30 per cent on landline phone calls to their home countries when etisalat enforces the reduction in the second half of this year.

The cuts will include several other countries and are part of plans by the government-controlled Etisalat to expand and modernize services, including the introduction of smart land phones for use at home.

“We are planning to cut rates on telephone calls by between 10 and 30 per cent in the second half of this year,” said Majid Al Abbar, deputy chairman for home communications services at etisalat.

“The cuts will affect several countries in the Arab region including Egypt and Jordan…rates on calls to some Asian nations including India and the Philippines will also be reduced….we have noticed the number of international calls to these two Asian countries is very high and this allows Etisalat to embark on such cuts,” he told 'Emarat Al Youm' daily.

He revealed plans by etisalat to introduce what he described as the “smart land telephone” before the end of this month, adding the facility would enable subscribers to access internet, including Facebook.

“This phone will also allow users to make video calls as they can be fixed with camera…the introduction of these phones will boost demand for landlines following a steady growth over the past period due to rate cuts,” he said, adding that cuts would also affect some internet facilities.

Meanwhile, Rashid Majid Al Abbar, Vice-President, Home Products Marketing, etisalat, said: "During the second half of this year it will reduce rates for local and international calls for subscribers of landlines by up to 30 per cent."

Etisalat will also make discounts on rates of broadband internet by up to 50 per cent for more than 40 per cent of its subscribers and later this year, it was reported.

Etisalat will launch 'smart landlines' by the end of this month. "This will give subscribers internet access - they can use Facebook and even make video calls by installing a camera on it,” said Al Abbar.

The rate cuts will include internet subscribers of slow speeds - who represent 40 per cent  of total internet subscribers. Rates range between Dh149  and Dh189 per month.

Etisalat has started offering subscribers who wish to have 1Mbit speed a free-of-charge transfer at a monthly cost of Dh189. This will give subscribers twice the speed at the same price, he added.

This will enable subscribers to avail double the speed without a rate increase, together with fixed telephone service, that is equivalent to a 50 per cent reduction in cost, as they will still pay only Dh189. While subscribers who pay Dh149 will pay then Dh40 per month.

Al Abbar said the shift to high-speed connectivity is optional. “Etisalat will never force its subscribers to shift from Shamil to e-Life, he said and added that, however, e-life ensures that internet speed increases 32 times more. 

Amazon 10.1-inch tablet aimed at iPad 5

A Facebook IPO that was lukewarm at best has been a dampening of what has otherwise been a hyperactive IT sector.

Apple’s launch of its marquee products has kept raising the bar for all comers in the tablet market.

Now, according to several technology websites, including digitimes.com, Amazon is likely to launch a 10.1-inch Kindle Fire in the third quarter of this year.

Amazon apparently plans to focus its competition against Apple's iPad, with the planned 8.9-inch model was also reportedly aimed at Samsung's Galaxy Note tablets.

According to a report on digitimes.com, quoting sources, Amazon is expected to ship 30-40 million tablet PCs in 2012.

Kindle books on iPad shortly

Amazon.com, the largest online retailer, said its library of 450,000 Kindle digital books will soon be available on Apple's iPad. The application will allow readers to shift a Kindle book back and forth between an iPad, a BlackBerry mobile phone or personal computer through its Whispersync technology, the Seattle-based retailer said.

Future of iPhone revealed: The iPhone Joker

If the future of Apple is the iPhone, given the immense competition in the tablet sector, blogs are abuzz about what the future of the iPhone itself will be.

The latest on technology website itechfuture.com looks at concepts that are set to define the next iPhone and the evolution of the device from Apple.

From a seamless flexible display to silicon keyboards that connect by simply putting a portable gadget on the top, to using the iPhone to beam visuals on other surfaces, the options are exciting and vast.

One concept called the iPhone Joker deals with a slider style smartphone where the joker slides within the outer flexible screen.
 

eLife crosses 400,000 customers, says etisalat

Etisalat announced crossing 400,000 subscriptions for eLife, its flagship multiple play service covering landline, broadband Internet and TV.

Speaking at the Broadband MEA 2012 Conference, Matthew Willsher, Chief Marketing Officer at etisalat declared this milestone number represents the highest penetration in the Gulf region. The service is currently the UAE's most subscribed fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service.

Earlier this year, research conducted by FTTH Council Europe ranked the UAE second globally in terms of deployment of fiber optic, ahead of all the major developed economies.

"Reaching this key customer milestone is a validation of eLife's status as the UAE's favorite home solution for multiple play services," said Matthew Willsher. "Since its inception over two years ago, eLife has enabled customers across the Emirates to optimize the benefits of FTTH through high value packages and high broadband speeds. Going forward, we plan to offer more value add-ons and flexible features that allow customers to get the best deals at no extra cost."

On customer experience, he added, "Beyond product improvements, our continued enhancements of staff knowledge and customer handling methods is resulting in higher levels of customer satisfaction."

The eLife double and triple play bundles come with some distinct advantages, including lower prices when compared to individual subscriptions for Landline, Internet and TV. The single point billing is easier to manage and the fastest home fixed broadband speed at 30 Mbps speed makes it easy for customers to enjoy rich and varied content without long waits. Etisalat has also recently launched the 5-5-5 promotion, wherein subscribers can get up to five months discounted rental, 50 minutes of international direct dialing and up to 5,000 more loyalty points that can be used for other products and benefits from etisalat.

Etisalat offers eLife TV as a part of its triple play offering. A leading source of regional entertainment in the UAE, eLife TV offers more than 350 TV channels in 21 languages. With a wide variety of content ranging from sports to movies, documentaries to music, as well as channels for kids, eLife TV also features more than 40 high definition channels.

Willsher added, "In the entertainment space within the UAE, Etisalat have been leading the industry for over 11 years by offering its customers rich and varied TV content. Our new eLife TV and video services now make TV viewing experience more fun-filled and more interactive with wider choice of channels and features. We're adding the UAE's first 24/7 'High TV 3D' entertainment channel, among other new channels. We have also launched a more appealing new friendly user interface with added features such as the picture-in-picture view while flipping through channels. Our On Demand movie library is getting bigger and offers new promotional movies every Monday. We have also rolled out new home-devices such as a new Universal remote control, an LG Smart TV Upgrader, an eLife Internet Radio and an Etisalat Wi-Fi repeater that enhances Wi-Fi signals in the house."


 

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