UAE Plans to Go All Fiber by 2011, Enabling Growth in Pay-TV, Fixed VoIP, Pyramid Finds

Aug 18, 2010

Fixed broadband services will be a significant source of growth in the UAE over the next five years, generating $1.01 billion in 2015, up from $695 million in 2010, due to both increasing broadband penetration and to the switch to a nationwide all-fiber network by 2011, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (

UAE: Fiber Deployments Will Boost Uptake of Pay-TV and VoIP offers a precise profile of the country's telecommunications, media, and technology sectors based on proprietary data from our research in the market. It provides detailed competitive analysis of both the fixed and mobile sectors, tracks the market shares of technologies and services, and monitors the introduction and spread of new technologies.

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Since the UAE telecom market has caught up with those of the developed world in terms of service penetration, it can look forward to healthy but not dramatic growth between 2010 and 2015. A key change over the next five years is the switch from copper to fiber fixed-line infrastructure that is currently underway and due to be completed by 2011.

Du, the smaller and newer of the UAE's two operators, initially took the lead with fiber deployment, notes Hussam Barhoush, Senior Analyst at Pyramid Research. "However, Etisalat has already caught up and surpassed its new rival in terms of fiber rollout: Abu Dhabi, was the first capital in the world to be all fiber, as Etisalat connected the city to the 'elife' FTTH network," says Barhoush. Etisalat plans to have upgraded its whole fixed network to fiber by 2011.

"As well as providing a boost to broadband revenue, the change will lead to growth in pay-TV adoption, as operators use advanced VAS to make IPTV services significantly more attractive than those of satellite operators," says Barhoush. As broadband penetration rate increases, it becomes critical that operators provide VAS in order to raise their current monthly ARPS. The next major opportunity for vendors will be LTE, which we expect both Etisalat and Du to deploy within the next three years.

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SOURCE: Pyramid Research

CONTACT: Jennifer Baker of Pyramid Research, +1-617-871-1910,