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Would you watch ads to talk for free?

Would you watch ads to talk for free?

As the UAE prepares to welcome more telecom operators, we wonder if an ad-funded mobile service could take-off here.

August 10, 2009 12:25 by

But Blyk is now looking at other territories; it has a deal with Vodafone in the Netherlands, and is looking at arrangements in Belgium and the US. And it is also thought to be looking seriously at expansion in Asia.

That being the case, would it profit from launching in the UAE?

Currently Etisalat and du, the only mobile operators in the country, have each managed to establish a broad subscriber base here. According to statistics released by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in May this year, the mobile penetration rate in the UAE now stands at 193 percent (up from 182 percent in September last year), the highest rate in the Middle East.

When du launched in 2007, the TRA said that the operator would be given three years with no new competitors to help it become sustainable and profitable. The three years are almost up, and according to The National, the TRA is studying the benefits of having new market participants.

With a young population and large subscriber base, the UAE probably looks pretty appealing to mobile operators. But would it be more attractive for a virtual network like Blyk, which can team up with one of the existing operators and offer a different range of services?

Would ad-funded mobile networks work here?

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