The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced that the country’s telecommunication sector is benefitting from increased mobile service revenues, which touched Dhs20.4 billion last year.
According to the findings detailed in the recently released fourth TRA annual sector review, the telecoms sector’s contribution to overall GDP stood at around five per cent.
Official figures in the report revealed that the UAE had almost two million fixed line subscriptions at the end of 2012, while the number of minutes used per mobile subscriber increased by 5.6 per cent during the year. India continues to be the most popular destination for the outgoing calls, closely followed by Pakistan and Phillipines.
Internet subscription in the UAE reached 958,000 lines, and the percentage of internet subscriptions connected by fibre technology increased by 37.2 per cent as a result of customer migration from copper networks.
Total revenues generated from internet services increased 15.2 per cent in 2012 as broadband subscriptions that were bundled together with fixed line services and TV services rose from 17 per cent in 2011 to 31 per cent in 2012. Subscriptions for higher speed broadband packages also rose, said TRA.
According to a recent survey by Google, the UAE ranks highest in the world in terms of smartphone penetration with 62 per cent of consumers owning smartphones, an 18 per cent year-on-year growth. The country’s mobile penetration is said to exceed 230 per cent while the GCC’s mobile penetration rates are estimated at 180 per cent.
Earlier this year, in a bid to utilise the high mobile penetration rates in the country, the Dubai government announced the launch of ‘m-government’ to offer government services round the clock through mobile devices.