United Arab Emirates Telecommunications Report Q2 2016
BMI View: We retain a generally positive outlook for the UAE telecommunications marketing our Q2 2016report update. The UAE benefits from having strong GDP per capita, high disposable incomes and a stronginflux of migrant population. Despite market maturity and a very high penetration rate, we retain ourpositive outlook over the course of our forecast period out to 2020. Furthermore, Etisalat and du, the twooperators in the country are aggressively competing against each other whilst investing heavy sums intotechnological innovation, capital investments and launching new products and services. We believe that thehigh degree of competition has led to significant advancement in technological uptake in the country. Weanticipate that continued 4G and 4.5G/LTE-Advanced growth in the latter years of our forecast will drivethe market forward, further propelled by price cuts and advances in VAS and contents offered.Latest Updates & Industry Developments
In 2015 the UAE mobile market saw a net increase of 737,000 subscribers. This is based on data reportedby Etisalat and du, as well as the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). We estimate thatthe total number of mobile subscriptions reached 17.12mn by the end of 2015, equivalent to apenetration rate of 187%. We expect the UAE mobile market to maintain positive growth throughoutour forecast period, through to 2020, due to strong competition between Etisalat and du, as well as thecontinued influx of migrant workers and temporary visitors on the back of an improving economy, astable political environment and major events in the country, such as the Dubai 2020 World Trade Expo.Nevertheless, we caution that the market contains a significant number of inactive subscriptions and SIMcards that have not yet been discounted. As such, they may be artificially inflating the penetration rate.
Etisalat and du are both aggressively investing into advanced capabilities, cloud computing services andinking industry contracts to develop existing infrastructure and to make their services future-proof as theylook to support the national Vision2021 agenda by offering increased mobile services and fixedcapabilities across the Gulf nation.
In October 2015, it was announced that Etisalat and du would allow increased competition among fixedline services to clients by allowing them to choose their services provider within nine to 12 months.
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