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UAE Mobile Subscribers Expand to 7.44m at the End of Third Quarter
30 November 2009
ABU DHABI — The number of mobile subscribers in the UAE has expanded to 7.44 million at the end of the third quarter, depicting a net gain of 180,000 subscribers or 2.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 5.5 per cent year on year, in contrast to a loss of 81,000 in quarter-two of the year, says a report.
This growth is against expectations of a subscriber loss of 50,000 in the quarter three.
Active mobile subscribers grew by 233,100 to reach 3.139 million, higher than projected active mobile net additions of 90,000.
Fixed line subscribers declined to 1.31 million, depicting a fall of 1.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter, 3.7 per cent year-on-year in line with analysts’ expectation.
“UAE internet subscribers continued to grow to reach 1.27 million, growing 3.3 per cent on quarter on quarter, 17.6 per cent year on year,” says Irfan Ellam, a telecom analyst at Al Mal Capital in Dubai, in his review of the UAE telecommunication sector.
Al Mal Capital, which projected a slowdown in subscriber growth in 2009, said a total of 796,000 net mobile were added by 9 month of the year versus 1.464 million in the same period last year. “This has resulted in active mobile penetration of 182 per cent year to date and a projected 187 per cent, 10.05 million subscribers for financial year 2009,” says the research report.
The rate of slowdown has not been as large as forecasted at 523,000 for financial year 2009. However, the report is cautious on quarter-four 2009, as net mobile adds will reflect the slower summer months due to the 90 day active rule and project 229,000 net mobile adds bringing the total active net mobile adds to 1.025 million for the year.
Quarter-four 2009 net mobile adds should be boosted for Etisalat and du by the launch of the Apple iPhone during the quarter.
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