UAE consumers prioritise sustainable broadband, 92% open to paying more
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UAE consumers prioritise sustainable broadband, 92% open to paying more

UAE consumers prioritise sustainable broadband, 92% open to paying more

The Cisco Broadband Survey highlights the growing environmental awareness among UAE consumers

Divsha Bhat
sustainable broadband

Findings from the Cisco Broadband Survey in the UAE indicate that consumer preferences are shifting towards sustainable broadband services.

Conducted among over 21,000 individuals across 12 countries, including 1,000 respondents from the UAE, the survey focused on consumer broadband usage patterns and their expectations regarding connectivity, sustainability and digital lifestyles.

Notably, the survey highlights the growing environmental awareness among UAE consumers, with 61 per cent of participants acknowledging the CO2 emissions associated with the internet.

Additionally, 77 per cent expressed concerns regarding the carbon footprint of their broadband services.

Mohammed Tantawi

Impressively, a substantial 92 per cent of UAE consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable broadband connectivity, provided that the quality remains unaffected.

Mohammed Tantawi, managing director Telcos and Service Providers MEA at Cisco commented: “With the UAE boasting one of the highest internet penetration rates in the world, consumers are raising their connectivity aspirations and are increasingly willing to pay extra for a broadband service with a lower carbon footprint.

By constantly innovating the technologies of the future and collaborating with service providers, we can help them place sustainability at the forefront of broadband infrastructure development. This entails scaling the infrastructure while efficiently managing energy costs and reducing emissions in line with their sustainability goals.”

Meeting the needs of a digitally empowered life

In the UAE, consumers are already using connectivity for most aspects of their daily lives.

Critical national infrastructure: A total of 81 per cent of respondents view broadband as critical national infrastructure, like access to water and electricity.

Abdelilah Nejjari

Hybrid work: The results of the survey have also shown that remote and hybrid working models are on the rise in the UAE with two-thirds (62 per cent) of UAE respondents now relying on their home internet to work from home or run a business. This represents a 10 per cent increase compared with last year’s results.

Adoption of the internet of things is widespread among Internet users in UAE. For instance, 46 per cent of UAE respondents already have connected home entertainment (tv, stereo, gaming), and 36 per cent use the Internet to boost home security. Almost 65 per cent see a positive impact on their life thanks to connected home entertainment, health and activity monitors and home security.

Abdelilah Nejjari, managing director for the Gulf Region at Cisco, said: “The UAE is among the world’s leading countries in various digital life indexes.

Our survey has confirmed that consumers are increasingly relying on the Internet that encompasses every facet of their daily lives.

Given the fast expansion of IoT, hybrid work and digitisation in general, continued investment must be made to enhance and upgrade the underlying network infrastructure and propel future economic growth across the country.”

Security must be a top priority

The survey has shown that consumers are conscious of cyber risks:

Only 3 per cent said they take no measures to protect their home connection. This reinforces findings from Cisco’s 2022 Consumer Security Survey in the UAE, which found that the majority of respondents (73 per cent) are worried about being hacked.

While speed is still the main priority among those planning to upgrade their broadband service in the next year (selected by 44 per cent), security is a close second, ranked by 38 per cent of respondents as a top priority.

With many using their home broadband for tasks like banking and working, security is top of mind for consumers. Yet, there is a general lack of awareness on more comprehensive security approaches, with almost half (47 per cent) of respondents only relying on an Internet password to protect their home broadband.

About a quarter use more elaborate protection, such as turning on the firewall on their wireless router (27 per cent) and checking for hardware and software updates (26 per cent).

Commenting on these findings, Abdelilah Nejjari added: “The UAE has put cybersecurity at the heart of its digital economy.

Today, with the evolution and complexity of cyberttacks, raising public awareness of online safety and usage of more sophisticated means for protection like multi-factor authentication (MFA), is more important than ever. Cybersecurity needs to go hand in hand with the rapid adoption of digitisation in the UAE.”

Read: Cartlow, E-City launch sustainable device subscription programme

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