Du narrows market gap with Etisalat

Du appeared to be close to its target to overtake Etisalat in the local mobile phone market with the latest data showing it is about to wrest an equal share.

At the end of 2012, Etisalat’s share of the mobile phone market in the second largest Arab economy stood at around 51 per cent after the government-controlled company was the dominant service provider only a few years ago.

The figures by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), which oversees the telecom sector in the UAE, showed Etisalat controlled just over seven million mobile phone subscribers at the end of 2012 while Du had more than 6.5 million.

Around 1.2 million of the two million new GSM subscribers in 2012 also joined Du, according to the report, carried by the semi official daily Alittihad.

The newcomers boosted the total number of mobile phone users in the UAE to a record high of 13.77 million at the end of 2012, pushing the penetration ratio to its highest level of nearly 167.8 per cent, one of the highest in the world.

The report showed about 141,000 new land line users joined the market last year to boost their total number to 1.96 million, just around 15 per cent of the mobile phone lines. The number of internet users declined by around 366,000 as more subscribers turned to smart phones and tablet systems.