UAE broadband revenue to rise 45% to $1bn by 2015

Fibre fixed-line services to help boost revenues for UAE telcos.
There is very much a free television culture in the Middle East, according to an MBC exec.
There is very much a free television culture in the Middle East, according to an MBC exec.

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Revenue from fixed broadband services in the UAE is due to increase by 45 per cent to $1.01bn over the next five years, according to the latest report.

The report, by US telecommunications research company Pyramid Research, forecast that the revenue from the broadband market would hit $1.01bn by 2015, up from $695m in 2010. Pyramid said the growth will be as a result of increasing broadband penetration and the switch to a nationwide all-fibre network by 2011.

“The UAE telecom market has caught up with those of the developed world in terms of service penetration,” the report said. “A key change over the next five years is the switch from copper to fibre fixed-line infrastructure that is currently underway and due to be completed by 2011.”

The switch to fibre fixed-line services was initially led by du, but the UAE’s main telecoms giant, Etisalat, is now spearheading the push away from copper, the report said.

“Abu Dhabi, was the first capital in the world to be all fibre, as Etisalat connected the city to the 'elife' FTTH network," said Hussam Barhoush, senior analyst at Pyramid Research.

The report forecasts that the increased connectivity will increase revenues and boost the market for Pay-TV and voice Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.

This is in contrast to comments made by the head of one of the region’s biggest media organisations, who told Arabian Business TV that Pay-TV in the Middle East is “unsustainable”.

"The culture in this part of the world is very much television is for free," Tim Riordan, group director at MBC said in an interview.

Riordan who has been nominated once again as one of the most influential expats in the GCC according to the latest Expat Power 50 list said, "pay-for-television is unsustainable, especially in a world where sports rights are too expensive to support free-to-air with advertising".

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