United Arab Emirates - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Two MVNOs join the UAE telecoms market
For the first time, two MVNOs have launched in the UAE with both Etisalat and du introducing their own wholly owned MVNO services in 2017. This will assist to serve a highly penetrated mobile market, whereby the UAE is among the highest in the world, largely due to the country’s affluence as well as to a significantly sized and fluid population of expatriate workers.
Smart phone adoption has grown quickly in the UAE and now accounts for over 81% of the total registered handset market. In conjunction, mobile broadband subscriptions are also experiencing strong growth and now exceed 155% penetration.
In order to meet future demand, both mobile operators are working on 5G development, with Etisalat (in conjunction with Ericsson) hoping to commercially launch services in 2019.
Fibre-optic networks also continue to be developed in the UAE, with du launching an ultra-high speed fibre service in 2016, in conjunction with Huawei. Etisalat announced plans to further invest in its fibre network during 2017.
Royalty payments by the telcos to the UAE government have been frozen at 2016 levels through to 2021.
The United Arab Emirates is a prime location for the rise of streaming video and video-on-demand services due to its strong mobile and fixed infrastructure and a population which traditionally enjoys TV and entertainment.
Fibre broadband penetration in the UAE is one of the highest in the world and Etisalat dominates in terms of fibre broadband subscriber market share.
Smart technology developments are well underway in the UAE.
Companies mentioned in this report include:
Etisalat; du; Thuraya; Axiom Telecom; Virgin Mobile; Swyp; Yahsat.