UAE mobile phone subscriptions inch up
DUBAI: Mobile subscriber numbers in the UAE have grown to 18.66 million in the second quarter of this year, registering a growth of 1.08 per cent compared to 18.46 million during the same period last year. Etisalat had 11.3 million subscribers in the second quarter while du had 7.36 million. In the same period a year ago, etisalat had 11.30 million subscribers while du had 7.16 million.
Compared to the first quarter of this year, the mobile subscriber numbers fell by 1.16 per cent from 18.88 million due to the cancellation of many SIM cards under the ' My Number, My Identity' campaign, where subscribers need to reregister their SIMs with their Emirates ID card. The telecom regulatory body started the campaign in July 2012 in collaboration with the two telecom operators to increase mobile subscriber awareness and help protect subscribers' rights and prevent risks of misuse which could result in civil and criminal cases.
"The strategy to grow for telcos is more to do with value-added solutions such as Mobile Wallet, Mobile Connect, faster and secure connectivity etc. At the same time subscriber base is also likely to grow significantly as country prepares to Expo 2020," Sukhdev Singh, associate vice-president at market research and analysis services provider AMRB, told Gulf News. He said the UAE market is going to be an "exciting ground" for service providers - on one side one expects the launch of new services, and on the other side subscriber base would also continue to swell at a healthy rate until 2020. Moreover, he said that developments in M2M (machine-to-machine) communications and IoT (Internet of Things) market developments, ICT sector in the UAE is up for an exciting future growth. "UAE has been a leading adopter of technology in the world, and advancement in the global technology sector means more action in the local market.