Etisalat, a pillar of the UAE telecommunications system

Etisalat, a pillar of the UAE telecommunications system

UAE mobile penetration ‘among highest’

01 September 2014

THE number of active mobile subscriptions in the UAE reached more than 16 million by the end of 2013 with a penetration rate of 192.9 per cent, representing one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world, a report said.

Revenues generated from mobile services has been progressively increasing and rose by 6.3 per cent in 2013, added the ‘UAE Telecommunications Sector Developments & Indicators, 2010 – 2013’ report published by the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

The fifth annual sector review summarises the state of the fixed, mobile and data telecommunications markets in the UAE in terms of subscribers, penetration rates, revenues, and usage during 2010 – 2013.

The report also provides detail on the rankings of the UAE in a range of ICT studies.



“This report highlights the continued development of the telecommunications sector of the UAE. Evidently from the statistics contained within it, the sector continues to experience significant growth with the period from 2010 to 2013 building on the positive sector development seen in 2008 to 2011,” said Mohammed Al Ghanim, director general of TRA.

“The many positive trends illustrated within the review are testament to the strategic vision and operational expertise of Etisalat and du, and also to the continued oversight of the sector by the TRA. I was particularly encouraged by the performance of the Internet services segment and the fact that subscribers are taking advantage of the high speed, advanced networks that the operators have invested heavily in over the past years,” he added.



Highlights from the research include:

• The UAE had over 2.08 million fixed line subscriptions and the fixed line penetration rate reached 25 per cent

• International outgoing minutes from mobile phones increased by 37 per cent, while international minutes from fixed line phones fell by 12 per cent

• The top destination of the outgoing international calls was Pakistan, with over 2.1 billion minutes

• The total number of SMS and MMS messages sent during 2013 decreased by 13 per cent and 23 per cent respectively when compared to 2012 year

• The total number of Internet service subscriptions increased 10.5 per cent to reach over 1.043 million

• The percentage of internet subscriptions using fiber technology increased by 24 per cent

• The percentage of Internet subscriptions connected by fibre technology increased to 81 per cent as customers were migrated from copper networks to new advanced networks

There was also a marked trend of customers subscribing to higher speed Internet services over time.  For example, in 2010 less than one third of the residential customers had Internet speeds of more than 4 Mbps but by the end of 2013, more than two thirds of subscriptions were at these higher speeds, the report highlighted.

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