UAE mobile subscriber numbers hit 18m
December 30, 2016
The number of active mobile subscriptions in the UAE has continued to grow, reaching about 18 million by the end of 2015 with a penetration rate of 209.8 per cent, one of the highest rate in the world.
The average revenue per user for mobile services is Dh112 per month with average monthly call volumes of 151 minutes, said the seventh annual review of the UAE's telecommunications sector released by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
The report summarises the status of fixed line, mobile and data telecom markets in terms of numbers of subscribers as well as service penetration levels, revenues and usage rates. This review covers four years from 2012 to 2015.
Majed Al Mesmar, acting director general of TRA, said: “The results presented in this report reaffirm the vibrant and robust nature of the UAE’s telecommunications sector. Subscriber numbers and usage volumes have continued to grow, while the licensees have worked tirelessly to respond to evolving consumers’ demands. In TRA, we emphasise on the important enabling role of the sector in supporting the economy to prosper, allowing companies to interact, and most importantly, enabling users to communicate.”
The data contained in the report is provided by the two licensed operators in the country: Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du).
The report said the average monthly revenue per user of fixed telephony services was Dh102 with an average of 126 minutes of calls per fixed line per month.
For internet services, the average monthly revenue reached Dh416 per user. Total internet revenues increased by 30 per cent in 2015 to almost Dh5.98 billion compared to 2014 and the number of internet subscribers increased by 13 per cent, reaching to 1.235 million subscribers, the report said.
The number of fixed line services in the UAE reached more than 2.258 million subscriptions, with a service penetration rate of 26.4 per cent.
The number of pre-paid mobile subscriptions grew to over 15 million, while the number of post-paid subscribers reached almost 3 million.
Total international traffic from mobile phones reached 11.15 billion minutes in 2015, compared to 9.25 billion minutes in 2014, the report said. The total mobile traffic reached 31.49 billion minutes in 2015, compared to 28.70 billion minutes in 2014.
Traffic over the mobile networks increased by 10 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014. The mobile subscription volumes increased by 7 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014.
Bangladesh recorded the highest number of minutes of international calls initiated from the UAE, with a rate of 43 per cent of all international calls.
The total number of SMSs decreased from 2 million in 2014 to about 1.5 million in 2015, and the number of MMS decreased from 20 million in 2014 to 6 million messages in 2015.
The report also revealed an increasing tendency of customers to subscribe to high-speed internet services, as more than 84 per cent of the population have subscribed to internet at speeds that exceed 4 Mbps in 2015, the report said