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UAE tops world for mobiles but low broadband uptake

New report by telecoms regulator reveals just 10% of population are broadband subscribers.

The UAE leads the world for the number of mobile phone lines per person, a new report reveals.

Mobile phone line uptake in the Gulf state is high (almost two to every person), with more than 500,000 households signed up to broadband internet, said the report by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

The TRA report reveals that about 528,000 homes had subscribed to broadband in the UAE by the end of last year, with a total of 148,000 new contracts signed during 2008, UAE daily The National reported on Thursday.

The number of mobile telephone lines used by UAE residents in December reached a record high of 191 lines per 100 people - putting the UAE at the top of the world list for the largest number of phone lines per capita.

Steven Hartley, a senior analyst with the telecoms consultancy Ovum, told the paper: “Uptake in the UAE broadband market seems to be following a pattern we have seen in the West. Although the raw number of broadband subscriptions appears to be low, it is growing rapidly.”