Dubai-based telecom operator du says it will invest in its terrestrial networks if fixed network sharing does not come to fruition, Gulf News reports.
Fixed network sharing between the United Arab Emirates' two telecom operators, du and Etisalat, was scheduled to come into force in October last year, but the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has delayed its verdict.
It wasn't the first time that the decision has been deferred, with infrastructure sharing initially planned to happen at the end of 2011 so that Etisalat and du could compete for market share.
Ahmad Al Muhaideb, vice-president of broadcasting and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) service operations at du, said network sharing "has to happen", but suggested that the firm will not wait forever and is prepared to get to work on boosting its terrestrial coverage.
Copper wire and fibre optics are examples of terrestrial communications, while satellite, radio, Wi-Fi and microwave are all non-terrestrial. A terrestrial network communicates without radio transmission.
However, Al Muhaideb admitted that to develop its terrestrial networks would "take a longer time", slowing down plans to expand its IPTV services in new areas in the UAE.
IPTV is a system where television services are delivered through the internet rather than through the traditional satellite or cable formats.
Pointing out du's current limitations, Al Muhaideb said: "We have fibre cables across most parts of the UAE, but what we don't have is the last mile accessibility connecting the homes."
Du's IPTV service is available only in new areas of Dubai but already has in excess of 140,000 IPTV set-top boxes installed in homes.