For that period, the
Mobile data revenue – accounting for 29 per cent of total mobile revenue – rose nearly 35 per cent to Dh616m.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation increased 11 per cent to Dh1.06bn.
"The voice revenues are flattening, but still the growth is fuelled by data," said
Indeed, data usage has become the sole strategy for mobile operators, analysts say.
"Two years ago mobile revenues were so high because a lot of expats were calling back home," said
"Mobile data today is the only growth factor in developed markets because of the smartphone penetration, which has achieved the point that it's ubiquitous and people are used to getting email and internet on their mobiles."
Smartphone penetration of nearly 90 per cent in the
With its focus on data usage, du hopes to attract high-value mobile-phone users from Etisalat when mobile number portability (MNP) takes effect.
While he does not see this as a "game changer", du still sees value in trying to attract high-value, post-paid mobile-phone users.
However, the telcos' sharing of their networks appears to be a long way off. While the technical difficulties have been overcome, disagreements over fee structures are causing the delay.
"I believe that it [network sharing] is an important track for growth. We have turned to the TRA [
Du has about 6.9 million mobile subscribers and 587,000 fixed-line customers. Liberalising the
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