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UAE mobile subscribers top 16m as penetration rate rises

New report by country's telco regulator says UAE has one of world's highest mobile penetration rates

UAE mobile subscribers top 16m as penetration rate rises
The UAE has one of the highest penetration rates of mobile phones in the world.

The UAE had more than 16 million active mobile subscribers at the end of 2013 with a penetration rate of nearly 193 percent, according to a new report published by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Its fifth annual sector review said the UAE has one of the world's highest mobile penetration rates at 192.9 percent.

The TRA said revenues generated from mobile services increased by 6.3 percent in 2013 while international outgoing minutes from mobile phones increased by 37 percent.

The top destination of the outgoing international calls was Pakistan, with over 2.1 billion minutes, the report said.

 It added that the UAE had over 2.08 million fixed line subscriptions at the end of last year.

The total number of SMS and MMS messages sent during 2013 decreased by 13 percent and 23 percent respectively when compared to 2012 while the total number of internet service subscriptions increased 10.5 percent to reach over 1 million.

The TRA said the percentage of internet subscriptions using fibre technology increased by 24 percent.

"There has also a marked trend of customers subscribing to higher speed internet services over time. For example, in 2010 less than one third of the residential customers had internet speeds of more than 4 Mbps but by the end of 2013, more than two thirds of subscriptions were at these higher speeds," the report said.

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