United Arab Emirates - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

The UAE has a very strong mobile market and it is closely guarded by the two major operators of Etisalat and du. Both operators are majority owned by the government. In 2017 the first two MVNOs began offering services in the UAE – however both are wholly owned either by du and Etisalat.

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 around two thirds of the country’s mobile handsets. The growing availability of low cost smart phones will drive penetration going forward.

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.

This BuddeComm report provides valuable insights on the UAE mobile market, including mobile broadband, and includes key trends and statistics.

Key highlights:

  • Prepaid services have been instrumental in encouraging mobile take-up by the mass market, and prepaid subscribers account for a large percentage of the market;
  • The mobile market is served by a duopoly comprised of incumbent Etisalat and, since 2007, competing operator du.
  • In 2017 the UAE operators launched their own VoIP offering;
  • Two MVNOs were also launched in the UAE in 2017;
  • The UAE hopes to commercially launch 5G in 2020.
  • Companies mentioned in this report:

Etisalat; du; Thuraya; Axiom Telecom; Virgin Mobile; Swyp.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 General statistics
    • 3.2 Mobile voice
      • 3.2.1 Prepaid
    • 3.3 Mobile data
      • 3.3.1 SMS and MMS
      • 3.3.2 OTT messaging services
    • 3.4 Mobile broadband statistics
  • 4. Regulatory issues
    • 4.1 Roaming tariff reduction
    • 4.2 MNP
  • 5. Mobile infrastructure
    • 5.1 Brief intro analogue networks
    • 5.2 Digital networks
      • 5.2.1 GSM, 3G
      • 5.2.2 LTE
      • 5.2.3 5G
      • 5.2.4 Satellite mobile
    • 5.3 IoT and M2M networks
  • 6. Major mobile operators
    • 6.1 Etisalat
    • 6.2 du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company)
    • 6.3 MVNOs
      • 6.3.1 Virgin Mobile
      • 6.3.2 Swyp
  • 7. Mobile content and applications
    • 7.1 m-commerce
      • 7.1.1 Direct carrier billing in the Middle East
    • 7.2 m-TV
  • 8. Mobile handsets
  • 9. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2004
  • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2017
  • Table 3 – UAE – mobile operators’ market share by subscribers – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 4 – UAE – mobile revenue and ARPU – 2008 - 2015
  • Table 5 – UAE – prepaid vs postpaid revenue – 2008 - 2015
  • Table 6 – UAE – prepaid subscribers – 2005 – 2017
  • Table 7 – UAE – SMS and MMS sent – 2007 - 2015
  • Table 8 – UAE – mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 9 – UAE is one of the leading countries working towards 5G in the Middle East
  • Table 10 – Etisalat (UAE) mobile subscribers and blended ARPU – 2011 – 2017
  • Table 11 – du mobile revenue – 2009 – 2016
  • Table 12 – du mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 13 – du mobile minutes of use (MOU) – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 14 – UAE – handset manufacturers’ market share – 2013; 2015; 2017
  • Chart 1 – Market share by mobile subscribers – Etisalat and du - 2016

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