Arabian Business Web Index - August 2003 Report

More than 10% of UAE internet users could be using broadband connections by the end of 2003

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By  David Ingham Published  October 5, 2003

Broadband usage on the increase|~||~||~|Click here to view the Arabian Business Web Index for August 2003"

The latest data released by Etisalat, the UAE’s monopoly telecomms operator, show that broadband usage is on the increase in the country.

The number of companies using Business One, Etisalat’s DSL package for businesses, grew from 3,165 in April to over 4,100 by the end of July. This follows the relaunch of Business One in May, when it was repackaged into five different product bundles.

Broadband is also growing rapidly amongst home users. Al Shamil, Etisalat’s DSL package for consumers, is forecast to grow from 17,175 accounts at the end of 2002, to 27,884 by the end of 2003.

Dialup users currently number over 320,000 accounts in the UAE, over 90% of the total.
Madar Research Group estimates that the total number of active internet users (calculated by multiplying the number of accounts by the number of people believed to be using each account) in the UAE will grow 10% to reach 1.175 million by the end of 2003.

An estimated 11-13% of those will be using broadband accounts (Al Madar’s definition of broadband includes ISDN as well as DSL), year on year growth of around 50%.

August was a better month than might be expected for most companies in the Web Index.
Naharnet moved over the 400,000 unique visitor mark, AME Info touched 200,000 unique visitors and Bayt also beat its previous record month of July 2003.

One of the reasons given by Bayt for its strong early Summer showing was its Bayt Works for ME! contest, which invited Bayt job seekers to share their stories online. Bayt users then voted for the best stories. The winner, Khaled Ramadan, received a cheque for $1000 from Bayt CEO, Rabea Ataya.

The good run continued into August, with visits up 15% on July and page views up by 11% month on month.

Microsoft is pulling the plug on its chatrooms across EMEA because of the growing spamming problem and concerns over children’s welfare. MSN Chat services in the Middle East will be closed in October. The company said the move was designed to provide a safer, more secure and positive online experience.

“We’ve made these changes because online chat services are increasingly being misused,” said Judy Gibbons, corporate vice president of MSN International, Microsoft’s online arm. “These changes will improve protection for MSN users when it comes to spam and inappropriate communication.”

Microsoft is likely to lose millions of dollars from the move; its Chat rooms have over a million users a month in the UK alone. But there has been increasing concern about the misuse of chatrooms. While MSN will still offer instant messaging services, such services provide a greater amount of control over the user’s identity, with children or other users being able to choose whether to accept messages from somebody.

MSN Chat services will close in EMEA, Asia and Latin America on October 14, with similar services being only available to subscribers in other markets. The move is the latest in a series of initiatives by the company to fight internet abuse. In April, Microsoft teamed up with Yahoo and AOL against spammers.

Click here to view the Arabian Business Web Index for August 2003"

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||**|||~||~||~|Ranking in category by page views: Web sites are ranked according to the total number of page views reported in the sample period.

URL: Internet address of the Web site.

Site description: Web site owners have submitted their own descriptions. These have been edited by Arabian due to space constraints.

Site category: Categories have been formed by Arabian for the purpose of comparing Web sites in a like-with-like environment.

Total number of visits in period: The cummulative total of visits to a site in the specified period. A person visiting more than once in the sample period will be counted every time that person visits. Visitors to a site for a prolonged period, i.e. opens a Web site and leaves that site open on his machine all day, can count as several visitor sessions in that day. Web tracking software can effectively call a visitor session closed if it remains inactive for a predefined period.

Average duration of visitor session in period: The time taken between entering a site and leaving a site.

No. of new visitors in period: A count of visitors who have not at any time been logged by the Web tracking software.

No. of unique visitors per month: Unique visitors are counted using the visitor's IP address, domain name, or cookie.

No. of page impressions in period: A count of hits to pages defined as documents or forms by the Web tracking software. In most, but not all cases, a cick to a new page within a Web site will count as a single additional page impression. The supporting graphics on pages are not counted.

Sample period: The dates during which the log data was generated.

Verified by: Note of whether the visitor data has been checked by Arabian or whether the site owner has supplied data without independent verification.

Click here to view the Arabian Business Web Index for August 2003"||**||

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