United Arab Emirates - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Operators in the United Arab Emirates focusing heavily on 5G
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 2019 both Etisalat and du are demonstrating keen interest in developing 5G technology and are strongly supported by the TRA which has allocated spectrum bands.
The first two MVNOs began offering services in the UAE in 2017 – 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 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. Both Etisalat and Du launched 5G capable handsets in 2019.
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.
The UAE boasts mobile penetration levels that are among the worlds’ highest;
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.
Companies mentioned in this report include:
Etisalat; du; Thuraya; Yahsat; Virgin Mobile; Swyp.