Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/28/2014 -- We retain a bullish value and subscriptions growth outlook for the UAE telecoms sector over new forecast period, ending in 2018, on the back of strong economic growth and the expected surge in visitor numbers in the run-up to the Dubai 2020 World Trade Expo. Meanwhile, the market is witnessing the development of a wide range of advanced telecoms-related services, including m-government, mcommerce, telecare, machine-to-machine (M2M) and smart cities. We expect these trends to spur operators to step up their capital expenditure in mobile and fixed network infrastructure over the next few years as they prepare their networks to cope with higher demand for various communication services, especially data.
- The mobile market grew by 3.2% q-o-q in Q413 and 16% y-o-y in the 12 months December
- The fixed-line sector grew by 0.8% q-o-q in Q413 and 6% y-o-y in the 12 months to December 2013.
- The fixed broadband sector grew by 1.6% q-o-q in Q413 and 9.1% y-o-y in the 12 months to December 2013.
- Market average mobile ARPU fell by 9.9% y-o-y in FY13.
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The UAE remained in fourth position in this quarter's update to BMI's Risk/Reward Ratings (RRR) table with an aggregate score of 58. The UAE's telecoms market experienced strong subscriptions growth across the three main service sectors in 2013, while country's main telecoms service providers also recorded impressive financial results for the year. Furthermore, a stable political environment and strong private consumption growth helped boost it Country Risk rating. However, the country continues to score poorly in the Industry Risk category owing to strong state influence on the telecoms sector.
BMI believes the UAE's e-government initiatives are having a positive impact on growth in the telecoms, consumer electronics and IT sectors. This view is underlined by the launch of a smart government applications store in March 2014, accessible over the Android and iOS operating systems. The store has more than 100 applications developed by local and federal agencies and is a step towards the government's goal of offering 1,000 services through smart devices by 2017. From vendors' perspective, the government's decision to launch the service only on Android and iOS will make it more difficult for struggling BlackBerry and Nokia, which rely on the BlackBerry and Windows operating systems (OS), to regain lost ground in the market (although the Nokia X range scheduled to launch in H114 will use the Android OS). However, relative newcomers Huawei, Lenovo and HTC, which use the Android OS, will welcome the competitive advantage as they battle for a top three position in the UAE's smartphone market.
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