EIM reports 100% domestic broadband growth

The percentage growth figure looks impressive, but broadband users are still a small proportion of the overall subscriber total.

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By  David Ingham Published  February 17, 2003

The number of subscribers to Etisalat’s consumer broadband internet service, Al Shamil, rose from 7,500 at the end of 2001 to 16,177 by December 2002. That represented subscriber growth of 108% year on year, but the figure was still only around 5% of total internet subscribers in the UAE.

The number of subscriptions for BusinessOne, a broadband offering for businesses, rose 189% from 946 in 2001, to 2,740 in 2002.

“Our duty is to provide our customers with an Internet connection whether they be at home, at work or in a public area,” said Maroua Naim, general manager of EIM, the internet unit of Etisalat.

“These figures prove that we are delivering on that commitment. We now have extensive coverage for broadband services throughout the country and we are continuously investigating all the technologies available to extend that coverage further.”

The number of leased line connections, a type of broadband technology used by larger businesses, rose from 427 in 2001 to 766 last year.

The UAE has led the way regionally in rolling out broadband internet to domestic users, but overall usage of broadband services such as DSL remains low across the Middle East. Reasons are cost, availability and a lack of content that makes broadband connections worthwhile.

EIM said in a statement that it is due to announce, “a number of new products and services to raise the broadband penetration in the UAE.” Some new content designed for broadband users will be offered through EIM’s own portal, Albahhar.com.

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