UAE mobile penetration hits 200 per cent

UAE mobile penetration hits 200 per cent

Recent figures released by the Emirates News Agency confirm what many of us suspected: connectivity in the UAE has reached extraordinary levels.

According to statistics released by the UAE’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, the number of telecommunications subscribers in UAE mobile, fixed-line and data services reached 23.64 million in 2019. Up to 3,016,318 people were subscribed to internet services by August, while fixed-line subscribers hit 2,345,578.

But it’s mobile penetration that leads the way by some margin over other modes of communication. In fact mobile phone services account for 77 percent of the revenues of the country's main operators, Etisalat Group and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (whose mobile communications service is branded du).

The number of mobile phone subscribers was estimated at 18,278,817; that’s a little over two lines per person or 200 percent penetration.

And this growth is driven largely by prepaid. Prepaid subscriber numbers were 14,655,021 in 2019; post-paid service mobile subscribers reached a mere 3,623,796.

With take-up this high, the signs are promising for one of the first countries in the world to launch 5G mobile network services (both Etisalat and du switched on their next generation networks in 2019), but whether this will translate into a 5G mass market is as yet unclear.

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