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United Arab Emirates - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

United Arab Emirates - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

UAE mobile operators strive for revenue growth in a saturated market

The UAE has a very strong mobile market and it is closely guarded by the two major operators of Etisalat and du. In 2018 both Etisalat and du are demonstrating keen interest in developing 5G technology and are strongly supported by the TRA which has identified the spectrum bands which will be made available for deployment.

Both operators are majority owned by the government. In 2017 the first two MVNOs began offering services in the UAE however this has not impacted upon competition in any significant way as both are wholly owned either by du and Etisalat. The operators however are facing challenges with the saturated mobile market stifling voice growth.

Etisalat and du have both deployed sophisticated HSPA+ and LTE networks that cover most of the population, underpinning growth opportunities centred on mobile broadband, content and applications. Smart phones are becoming increasingly popular, accounting for the majority of the mobile handsets. The growing availability of low cost smart phones has driven mobile broadband penetration up sharply in the last couple of years.

The well-established fibre-broadband network in the UAE is providing the operators with opportunities to grow new services and offerings such as triple-play.

Key developments:

Recently the TRA was encouraging affordable roaming rates within GCC countries;
In 2018 Etisalat sold its 28% share of Thuraya;
The UAE has attracted international interest from data centre operators;
Licensed VoIP offerings were launched by the operators in 2017;
The UAE hopes to commercially launch 5G in 2020.

Companies mentioned in this report include:

Etisalat; du; Thuraya; Yahsat; Virgin Mobile; Swyp.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – United Arab Emirates – 2018
  • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
    • Table UAE – GDP and inflation – 2012 - 2018
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table UAE – telecommunications revenue – 2007 - 2016
    • KEY RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORIC OVERVIEW
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • DRAFT BILL FOR NEW AUTHORITY
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION
      • Second operator
      • Third operator
      • Satellite licence
    • INTERCONNECT AND ACCESS
    • FIBRE ACCESS
    • NUMBER PORTABILITY (NP)
    • ROYALTY PAYMENTS
    • CENSORSHIP
    • ROAMING TARIFF REDUCTION
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • EMIRATES TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION (ETISALAT)
      • Table Etisalat group revenue and net profit – 2005 – 1H 2018
      • Table Etisalat – UAE fixed broadband subscribers – 2010 – 1H 2018
    • EMIRATES INTEGRATED TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY/DU
      • Table du revenue breakdown and profit/loss – 2008 – 2017
      • Table du fixed line subscribers – 2007 - 2017
      • Table du fixed line subscriber market share service breakdown – 2014; 2016
    • YAHSAT
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Fixed-line statistics
        • Table UAE – fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2018
        • Table UAE – domestic and international voice revenue – 2008 - 2015
        • Table UAE – international telephone revenues – 2008 - 2015
        • Table UAE – monthly fixed-line ARPU and MOU – 2008 - 2015
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Terrestrial cable networks
      • Satellites
    • DATA CENTRES, CLOUD COMPUTING
    • SMART INFRASTRUCTURE
    • SMART CITIES
      • Masdar City
    • CONNECTED HOMES
  • FIXED BROADBAND MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table UAE – internet users and penetration – 1998 - 2018
        • Table UAE – fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2001 - 2018
        • Table UAE – international internet bandwidth – 2006 - 2016
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) AND FIBRE-TO-THE-HOME (FTTH)
      • Table UAE – Subscribers to FttH/FttB – 2015 - 2017
      • Table UAE – Operators fibre broadband market share – 2015 - 2017
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Table UAE – DSL subscriptions in decline – 2008 -2018
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
  • DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • E-HEALTH
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • VIDEO-STREAMING
      • Media Zones
    • VOIP
  • MOBILE MARKET
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • Table UAE - Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2007
      • Table UAE - Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2018
      • Table UAE – mobile revenue and ARPU – 2008 - 2015
      • Table UAE – prepaid vs postpaid revenue – 2008 - 2015
    • MOBILE VOICE
      • Prepaid
        • Table UAE – prepaid subscribers – 2005 – 2018
    • MOBILE DATA
      • SMS and MMS
        • Table UAE – SMS and MMS sent – 2007 - 2015
      • OTT messaging services
    • MOBILE BROADBAND STATISTICS
      • Table UAE – mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2017
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Brief intro analogue networks
      • Digital networks
        • Table UAE is one of the leading countries working towards 5G in the Middle East
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Table UAE – mobile operators' market share by subscribers – 2010 – 1H 2018
      • Etisalat
        • Table Etisalat (UAE) mobile subscribers and blended ARPU – 2011 – Q2 2018
      • du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company)
        • Table du mobile revenue – 2009 – 2017
        • Table du mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2017
        • Table Historical - du mobile minutes of use (MOU) – 2010 - 2014
      • MVNOs
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • M-commerce
      • M-payments
    • MOBILE HANDSETS
      • Table UAE – handset manufacturers' market share – 2013; 2015; 2017
  • RELATED REPORTS

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