Telecommunications Regulatory Authority releases first Annual Market Review

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The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) recently released its first Annual Market Review. The Review summarizes the state of the Fixed, Mobile, and Data telecommunication markets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in terms of subscribers, penetration, revenues and usages (traffic) for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. The Review also outlines the contribution of the telecommunication sector to the UAE economy.

The data contained in the Review is published in aggregate form only and statistics for individual Licensees is not listed. The TRA has taken this step to protect the confidentiality of each Licensee while recognizing that for the purpose of transparency, regulatory good practices and to aid in the development of competition a publication of this nature is warranted.

The main highlights of the first Review in 2009 are Telecommunication sector contributed 4.9 % to the UAE GDP; Total investment in the sector was 9.544 Billion AED Telecommunications sector employed 11,890 employees with an Emiratization rate of 32%; Mobile penetration rate reached 204%; and, Internet user penetration rate reached 67%.

Between 2008 and 2009 the Review found that total investment in telecommunications sector increased by 16%; The number of fixed lines increased by 7 % while fixed revenue increased by 21 %; The number of mobile subscriptions increased by 14 % while mobile revenue increased by 3%; and the number of internet subscribers increased by 17% while revenue increased by 46%.

The reporting period of the Review (2007-2009) is covering the period “du” entered the UAE telecommunication market as a result of competition prices for telecommunications services fell as 31% in the price of broadband internet services; Up to 75% reduction on the price of international calls made from a fixed phone and 65% reduction when made from a mobile phone; and 65% reduction in subscription charges for mobile phone services.

Commenting on the Review the Director General of the TRA, Mohamed Al Ghanim said “The TRA is committed to promoting transparency in the UAE telecommunication sector.

The first Annual Market Review covering the years 2007-2009 is the most comprehensive market review the TRA has published and with the TRA intending to update the Review on an annual basis it will be an important document for informing key stakeholders and the general public of the state of growth of the sector in the UAE.” The Review is available for download on the TRA’s website www.tra.gov.ae under “ICT in the UAE”

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