Ringing it in
Telecom operators in the UAE have weathered the crisis well, and now seem set for further growth.
October 19, 2009 1:34 by Aarti Nagraj
In the second quarter of the year, du saw revenues of AED1.3 billion, up 12 percent from the previous quarter and up 44 percent from the same period in 2008. Its net profit for the quarter reached AED115 million, up from AED47 million in the first quarter of 2009, though this was a drop of AED44 million against the second quarter of 2008.
The country’s telecom industry has ridden out the financial storm well; according to Al Mal Capital, the sector is expected to reach AED9.72 billion in value in 2009. However, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has rejected a market study that argued the case for a third telecom operator in the UAE.
Mohamed al-Ghanim, the TRA’s director general, told Maktoob Business that the study was conducted before the crisis hit the region. “This study has to be completely abolished and a fresh one has to be made,” he said. “After the crisis we had to go and revisit all the variables.”
With rising mobile and internet penetration in the country (according to a research report by Reportlinker, the number of mobile subscribers is expected to grow at a rate of more than 7 percent during 2009-2012) and no immediate threat of a third telecom operator, it seems both Etisalat and du have their numbers going in the right direction.