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Telcos call time on the recession

The UAE has more cellphone lines per person than anywhere else on Earth. No wonder the two phone operators have engaging plans for the future.

February 24, 2010 6:32 by

He said that du saw one million new mobile subscribers in 2009, bring the number of ‘active’ subscriptions to nearly 3.5 million, in what was “an upward trend across all revenue segments”.

Sultan said du has set aside $600 million to boost its network in 2010, and that it plans to roll out its fixed-line services across the UAE: “This will happen though an infrastructure-sharing agreement with the other operator [Etisalat],” he said.

“Now we are a significant player in the telecoms market,” said Sultan. “[In 2010] we will continue the growth in profits… we will continue the growth in revenues.”

However, Sultan ruled out plans to launch operations outside the UAE. “We do not have any intention to go outside the UAE. It will not bring any benefits to the shareholders of du… at the present time.”

This strategy is in stark contrast to that of rival Etisalat, which told Al Arabiya TV this week that it has cash reserves of about AED10 billion to launch a major overseas expansion drive in 2010.

Etisalat says it is close to buying a majority stake in Iraq’s Korek Telecom in a bid to double its revenues from overseas operations in three years. The company says there are six markets in the Middle East and North Africa – including Algeria and Libya – that it is investigating for acquisitions or new licenses.

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  1. Syed Abdul Karim Tanveer on February 25, 2010 11:16 am

    This is great news! 240% penetration is remarkable. This is a big achievement for both the players to be able to create opportunity in such a competitive market. Also inspiring is their vision to push for more growth.

    It seems UAE is moving towards making the “Internet of Things” a reality. I think with all the investment in infrastructure and the innovations in real estate, telecom and technology, it’s all coming together. We can expect UAE to continue to push forward and be the first to build Smart Cities!

  2. Tag wook on March 2, 2010 2:39 pm

    Moving in which direction, it is only profit and profit for companies,.Common man is shelling out the highest tariff in the world, and service is going to the dogs day by day. P


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