Jun 07 2012
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UAE Mobile Subscribers +13% In 1Q Vs Yr Ago; Penetration Rate At 154%
Thursday, Jun 07, 2012
DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)--Mobile subscribers in the U.A.E. rose 13% on the year in the first quarter of 2012, while the country's penetration rate stood at 154%, a level, analysts say, that shows there's still some growth left in the domestic market.
According to data from the country's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority , or TRA , mobile subscribers at the end of March amounted to 12.4 million, up from 11 million in the same period a year ago.
Matthew Reed, an analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media in Dubai, noted the TRA has recently changed the figure it uses for the size of the U.A.E. population. The new figure is 8 million, compared with the 5.5 million people used previously.
"In a sense, this is positive, in that it suggests that the U.A.E. mobile market is less saturated than might have been thought previously, so there is more room for growth," he added.
Du, the country's biggest second telco, said in May that it is looking at mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, opportunities to expand its footprint for the first time outside its home market. Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat meanwhile already operates in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Nigeria amongst other countries.
According to the latest TRA data, the number of post-paid mobile subscribers reached 1.5 million by the end of the first quarter, while pre-paid subscribers hit 10.9 million. Internet subscribers amounted to 904,270 at the end of March, down from 1.4 million in the same period a year ago.
Fixed-line telephone subscribers reached 1.9 million by the end of the first quarter of 2012, up from 1.7 million in the same quarter of 2011.
-By Shereen El Gazzar, Dow Jones Newswires; +971 444 61684; Shereen.email@example.com; Twitter: @ZDJnews
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