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

Publication Overview

This report provides valuable insights into the UAE’s well developed telecom sector which offers wide-spread broadband coverage and a well serviced mobile market. The UAE boasts very high mobile penetration which is allowing the operators to begin capitalizing on mobile broadband opportunities. This report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband and converging media sectors, supported by a range of valuable statistics. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends, challenges and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers.

Researcher:- Kylie Wansink
Current publication date:- October 2017 (15th Edition)

Executive Summary

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.

Key developments:

  • 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.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Market overview
    • 2.2 Market analysis
    • 2.3 Key developments
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Historic overview
    • 3.2 Regulatory authority
    • 3.3 Draft bill for new authority
    • 3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation
      • 3.4.1 Second operator
      • 3.4.2 Third operator
      • 3.4.3 Satellite licence
    • 3.5 Interconnect and access
    • 3.6 Fibre access
    • 3.7 Number Portability (NP)
    • 3.8 Royalty payments
    • 3.9 Censorship
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat)
    • 4.2 Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company/du
    • 4.3 Yahsat
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
      • 5.1.1 Fixed-line statistics
    • 5.2 International infrastructure
      • 5.2.1 Submarine cable networks
      • 5.2.2 Terrestrial cable networks
      • 5.2.3 Satellite networks
    • 5.3 Smart infrastructure
      • 5.3.1 Smart grids
      • 5.3.2 Smart cities
      • 5.3.3 Connected homes
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 6.1.1 Market analysis
    • 6.2 Broadband statistics
    • 6.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
    • 6.4 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 6.4.1 Other fixed broadband services
      • 6.4.2 Fixed wireless (WiFi, WiMAX)
      • 6.4.3 Internet via satellite
  • 7. Digital economy
    • 7.1 e-Government
    • 7.2 e-Health
    • 7.3 e-Education
    • 7.4 Videostreaming
  • 8. Mobile communications
    • 8.1 Market analysis
    • 8.2 Mobile statistics
      • 8.2.1 General statistics
      • 8.2.2 Mobile voice
      • 8.2.3 Mobile data
      • 8.2.4 Mobile broadband statistics
    • 8.3 Regulatory issues
      • 8.3.1 Roaming tariff reduction
      • 8.3.2 MNP
    • 8.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 8.4.1 Brief intro analogue networks
      • 8.4.2 Digital networks
      • 8.4.3 IoT and M2M networks
    • 8.5 Major mobile operators
      • 8.5.1 Etisalat
      • 8.5.2 du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company)
      • 8.5.3 MVNOs
    • 8.6 Mobile content and applications
      • 8.6.1 m-commerce
      • 8.6.2 m-TV
    • 8.7 Mobile handsets
    • Table 1 – United Arab Emirates - country statistics – 2017
    • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2017
    • Table 3 – Broadband statistics – 2017
    • Table 4 – Mobile statistics – 2017
    • Table 5 – National telecommunications authorities
    • Table 6 – UAE – GDP and inflation – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 7 – UAE – telecommunications revenue by sector – 2007 - 2015
    • Table 8 – Etisalat group revenue and net profit – 2005 – Q2 2017
    • Table 9 – Etisalat fixed subscribers and ARPU – 2010 – Q2 2017
    • Table 10 – du revenue breakdown and profit/loss – 2006 – 2016
    • Table 11 – du fixed line subscribers – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 12 – du fixed line subscriber market share service breakdown – 2014; 2016
    • Table 13 – UAE – fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2017
    • Table 14 – UAE – domestic and international voice revenue – 2008 - 2015
    • Table 15 – UAE – international telephone revenues – 2008 - 2015
    • Table 16 – UAE – monthly fixed-line ARPU and MOU – 2008 - 2015
    • Table 17 – UAE – internet users and penetration – 1995 - 2016
    • Table 18 – UAE – fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2001 - 2017
    • Table 19 – Etisalat fixed broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2016
    • Table 20 – UAE – international internet bandwidth – 2006 - 2016
    • Table 21 – UAE – Subscribers to FttH/FttB – 2015; 2016
    • Table 22 – UAE – Operators fibre broadband market share – 2015; 2016
    • Table 23 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2004
    • Table 24 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2017
    • Table 25 – UAE – mobile operators’ market share by subscribers – 2010 - 2016
    • Table 26 – UAE – mobile revenue and ARPU – 2008 - 2015
    • Table 27 – UAE – prepaid vs postpaid revenue – 2008 - 2015
    • Table 28 – UAE – prepaid subscribers – 2005 – 2017 1H
    • Table 29 – UAE – SMS and MMS sent – 2007 - 2015
    • Table 30 – UAE – mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2016
    • Table 31 – Etisalat mobile subscribers and blended ARPU – 2011 – Q2 2017
    • Table 32 – du mobile revenue – 2009 – 2016
    • Table 33 – du mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2016
    • Table 34 – du mobile minutes of use (MOU) – 2010 - 2014
    • Table 35 – UAE – handset manufacturers’ market share – 2013; 2015; 2017
    • Chart 1 – Market share by mobile subscribers – Etisalat and du - 2016
    • Exhibit 1 – UAE – submarine cable networks

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