Connectivity booms in the UAE as mobile subscriptions top 18.2 million

Published: 10 February 2020 - 6:13 a.m.

The UAE continues to lead the way as one of the most connected countries in the Middle East region, with the total number of telecoms subscriptions in the country topping 23.64 million, according to a new report.

The figures, issued by the Emirates News Agency, confirmed that the number of mobile phone subscriptions rose to 18.278 million, equivalent to 204.3 lines per 100 inhabitants last year.

The UAE became one of the first countries in the world to launch 5G mobile network services, when both Etisalat and du switched on their next generation networks in 2019.

The country’s mobile phone sector was the main source of income for telcos in the country, according to the report.

“Mobile phone services account for 77 percent of the revenues of the country's main operators, Etisalat Group and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company,” the Emirates News Agency statement read.

The total number of broadband customers in the country also rose to 3.62 million in 2019.

Last year, the GSMA tipped Middle Eastern telcos to lead on next generation connectivity and the UAE has made a concerted effort to put the infrastructure in place that will underpin next generation connectivity.

“We are encouraged by their progress to date. It is imperative that the region creates a regulatory environment that allows 5G to flourish, including releasing sufficient spectrum, so that businesses and citizens can fully enjoy the innovative new services that 5G will deliver, as well as the resulting socio-economic benefits,” said John Giusti, chief regulatory officer at the GSMA.

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