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UAE TRA demands Etisalat and du to stop pay-per-use data plans

(Image credit: Smart Pixels)

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE has demanded local telcos Etisalat and du to discontinue “pay-per-use” data plans in a bid to prevent clients from receiving excessive bills and to provide services based on their needs and wishes.

This service used to be automatically activated by simply inserting the SIM card in the mobile device, causing unexpected increase of charges, and reduction of balance for pre-paid customers. But the regulatory authority has asked telcos to switch this off by default and only enable it if requested by the subscriber.

“The decision reflects TRA’s keenness to achieve customers' happiness by implementing the best international standards on the services provided by the licensees in the country, providing the best services and the highest quality, and giving the subscribers more freedom and flexibility in choosing the services they desire,”  Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of TRA, said in a statement.

Early termination fee

TRA had announced earlier the establishment of a new regulatory framework for early termination fees for service contracts provided by licensees in the UAE. The amendment provided for the deduction of one month's fee for early termination of the service contract. 

Before that, the contract termination fee was one month's fee multiplied by the number of months remaining on the contract. These amendments have already been introduced to the new contracts for mobile phone services, and will be applicable to existing service contracts soon.

Last week, both the telecom operators sent out a text message saying: “pay-as-you-go data has been blocked from July 1, 2019.” According to the operators’ websites, customers wanting to start or stop data services must manually subscribe to such services.