DUBAI: UAE telecom firm Etisalat plans to cut international call tariffs to various countries by up to 30 per cent, an executive said, as the former monopoly tries to win back market share.
The plans are at an early stage and need regulatory approval, but are likely to come into force in the second half of 2012, Etisalat vice-president for home product marketing Rashed Alabbar said.
Etisalat already has a favoured country call plan where customers can get up to 40pc off standard tariffs.
"On top of that, we're studying whether to further reduce international rates," said Alabbar.
"If we are going to implement something in landline, most probably it will also be in mobile because we wouldn't cannibalise other product lines.
"(A) 10 to 30pc (cut) is what we are currently looking at across local and international calls. It should cover the most popular destinations."
These may include India, Philippines and Pakistan, which have large expatriate communities in the UAE. International calls are a crucial revenue source for Etisalat and rival operator du, with about 89pc of the UAE's 8.3 million population foreigners.
The proposed cuts come as Etisalat, which operates in 17 countries, refocuses on its domestic market.
According to a fourth-quarter results presentation to analysts, the UAE is home to about 6pc of Etisalat's 167m subscribers yet provided 73pc of revenue in 2011, with foreign units - which span from West Africa to Indonesia - providing limited revenue diversification.