Emirates Mobile TV consortium granted DVB-H licence for the UAE

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has finished the mobile TV tender evaluation applied by “Emirates Mobile Television Corporation” consortium.

The consortium comprises of Emirates Telecommunications Corporation ‘Etisalat’, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company ‘du’, Abu Dhabi Media Company, Dubai Media Incorporated, Emirates Communications and Technologies Company a subsidiary of TECOM Investment, and MBC FZ-LLC ‘mbc’.

The consortium has selected (DVB-H) technology, which is one of the modern technologies for mobile broadcast TV that started recently to be deployed in many countries. It has also become a feature in many mobile phones. This technology supports the reception of live TV broadcasting through an advance network to mobile users.

The consortium has met all the requirements of the TRA, as a result TRA has agreed to grant the license to the consortium to provide mobile TV broadcasting services for 10 years with an acquisition fee of 17 million AED. The royalty will also be applied on the company. The TRA has agreed to grant the consortium exclusivity to provide the broadcast mobile TV for 5 years that will end in December 31, 2014.

“By this license the TRA succeeded to bring together the main players in Media and Telecommunication sectors to form a partnership to provide such services in the country, the UAE companies of the two sectors considered to be the leaders in the region.” H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General of Telecommunication Regulatory Authority said.

Mr. AlGhanim also added: “The consortium will provide unique and exclusive packages for subscribers. There will be one network, and that what TRA aimed to achieve since its inception to avoid the duplication of infrastructure and reduction of expenditure. This will lead to ensuring that the companies can concentrate in product innovation and providing better services to their subscribers”.

The consortium will provide its services to Etisalat, and du who will provide variety of competitive and exclusive mobile TV packages to their subscribers. With that, the TRA has maintained competition between the companies and reduced the capital expenditure of building networks in the country, which will lead to positive impact on the end user pricing.

The company is expected to provide at least 13 channels for the subscribers of live TV broadcasting service. The service is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of next year and the network will cover majority of UAE population. The UAE will be the first country to issue such license in the region. The TRA will sign the license in November this year in a ceremony that will be announced soon.

“The TRA will impose an Emiritization mandate on the company in an unprecedented step that will implemented on other licensees in the sector soon to increase the Emiritization level in the telecom sector and to provide more jobs to the UAE locals”. Mr. AlGhanim concluded.

It is to be noted that the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has been created in 2004 and in a record time succeeded in putting in place a regulatory frame work that has enabled competition in the country. In 2006 it has succeeded to become a council member in the International Telecom Union. TRA has also chaired the Global Symposium of Regulators in 2007. The TRA has also launched a number of sector development initiatives such as the ICT Fund which has funded Ankabut network (the educational network) to connect all Universities of the country with state of the art educational network, it has also launched the Domain Name Administration, the Computer Emergency Response Team, Beatha the scholarship program, Mobile Phones Recycling Campaign, Echo of Silence and UAE Telescope project.