(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Prepaid mobile phone subscribers in the UAE can enjoy lifetime validity without renewal fees as both telecom operators now offer this facility.
Emirates Telecommunication Corporation, known as etisalat, on Monday introduced free lifetime validity for Wasel prepaid customers. Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, known as du, introduced this facility in November 2009.
Etisalat informed its customers about the new offer through a short text message on Monday that says: "A special gift from etisalat on the occasion of Ramadan!! We are pleased to inform you that your Wasel line is now valid for lifetime without any more renewal fees."
Etisalat announced free lifetime validity for all its new and existing Wasel prepaid customers. The new benefit allows customers to maintain their Wasel subscriptions without having to renew again.
The free lifetime validity will be applied automatically and does not require Wasel customers to subscribe to it, news agency Wam said, adding: "To keep their Wasel lifetime validity benefit, customers need only make one charged call or send an SMS from their Wasel accounts within three months."
"Etisalat is constantly working to fulfill customer expectations by launching a series of user-friendly and exciting initiatives. The new free lifetime validity benefit reinforces this commitment and makes our customer's mobile experience easier and more affordable," Matthew Willsher, Chief Marketing Officer at etisalat, said.
It not only helps them effortlessly maintain their Wasel connections for life, but also saves them recurring costs, Willsher said, adding: "Combined with the advantage of strong mobile coverage on etisalat's nationwide 3.5G network, it is a win-win situation for our customers." Both telecom operators in the country are offering new and innovative services to retain and increase their mobile phone subscribers' base. The telecom regulator in the UAE also announced a deadline for competition in fixed-line telecommunications services.
Last month, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, or TRA, announced that etisalat and du were working together to bring choice for consumers and businesses in their selection of fixed telecommunications service providers. Business and residential customers in the UAE will soon have the ability to choose between operators for their fixed line voice and broadband services. This becomes possible through the use of technology known as "bitstream access" which allows network sharing between the operators.
"Etisalat and du compete strongly in mobile services and we can all see the benefits that competition in mobile services has brought to the UAE. We will soon enter a phase of strong competition in fixed services and we expect similar benefits to flow as a result," TRA Director-General Mohamed Al Ghanim said in a statement last month.
Etisalat offers new Wasel prepaid connection at Dh75, with a free initial credit of Dh25 that can be used for making both local and international calls and sending text messages. New Wasel SIM cards come pre-installed with free lifetime validity, while existing customers will be notified via SMS that they have been provided with the benefit. Etisalat's airtime charges on calls and SMS remain same as before.
Wasel customers can maximise their benefit by subscribing to the Super Off-Peak plan and enjoying a discount of 60 per cent on international calls during the Super Off-Peak hours from 11pm -7am.
Aside from Super Off-Peak discounts, the plan offers customers 35 per cent discounts during off-peak hours between 2pm-4pm and 9pm-11pm every day, all day on Friday and national holidays. Wasel customers can also subscribe to any of Etisalat's other international cost-saving calling plans such as Favourite Country Plan and Wasel Homeland.