Telecom Industry in UAE Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)

The report covers Telecommunication Companies in UAE and is segmented by Type (Mobile, Fixed, Broadband). The market sizes and forecasts are provided in terms of value in USD million for all the above segments.

UAE Telecom Market Size

UAE Telecom Market Summary
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Study Period 2019 - 2029
Base Year For Estimation 2023
Market Size (2024) USD 9.37 Billion
Market Size (2029) USD 10.93 Billion
CAGR (2024 - 2029) 3.15 %
Market Concentration High

Major Players

UAE Telecom Market Major Players

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order

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UAE Telecom Market Analysis

The UAE Telecom Market size is estimated at USD 9.37 billion in 2024, and is expected to reach USD 10.93 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 3.15% during the forecast period (2024-2029).

The UAE telecom market has undergone significant transformation over the past few years owing to various initiatives taken by the government to boost the country's internet infrastructure and broadband connection, growth in data consumption from businesses and individuals, growth in 5G deployments across the country, and various innovations by the major telecom market vendors operating in United Arab Emirates.

  • As per the World Bank, 100% of the country's population has internet access. With a growing percentage of the population using smartphones, the enhanced service quality offered by operators, and technology and infrastructure upgrades, internet users are expected to increase further.
  • The increasing penetration of 5G and the advent of 6G are expected to drive the market's growth. For instance, the median download speed on 5G networks is among the fastest in the world, and the fixed broadband speed is among the highest. This is the outcome of recent infrastructure expenditures prioritizing fiber over updated copper networks and 5G. 
  • With 5G network coverage expanding, 5G adoption is steadily rising across the region. According to the GSMA, there are indications that 5G coverage is expanding. By the end of 2021, the United Arab Emirates achieved 90% 5G population coverage.
  • The growing spending on communication is one of the major factors contributing to the market's growth. The market has primarily benefitted from the increasing smartphone penetration and high demand for telecom services from individuals and businesses over the past few years. The country has been accelerating its digital strategy adoption in various industries and prioritizing integrating all populations through high-quality internet services, which would create an opportunity for the mobile internet service providers in the country to expand their mobile connectivity services, including 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G.
  • However, as the country is highly dependent on external sources to balance the skill deficit, it may face challenges in the coming years as dependency on foreign talent may lead to vulnerability if visa regulations change, restricting the availability of skilled labor. Also, a predominantly foreign workforce may impact the representation of Emirati nationals within the sector, affecting the nation's participation in the telecom industry. In response to these challenges, the UAE's telecom industry needs to strike a balance between leveraging the advantages of foreign talent and investing in the development of local expertise. 
  • Even though the COVID-19 crisis continued to cause challenges for telecom service providers, it also offered new opportunities in healthcare, education, and others. The ongoing adaptation or changes in the communication behaviors of consumers are predicted to influence the future dynamics of the UAE telecom industry. Customers choosing digital services such as online ordering, mobile payments, and strong collaboration tools will be the new standard for telecom service providers post-crisis. Telcos should continue to invest in their network infrastructure to meet these future needs.

UAE Telecom Market Trends

Data and Messaging Services to Hold Major Share

  • Data and messaging services are witnessing a surge in demand in the United Arab Emirates due to the rising need for efficient and reliable internet services in businesses as the digitization trend is gaining momentum. In addition, growing 5G deployment, cost-effective bundled messaging and data packages from market vendors, a robust network infrastructure coupled with rising use cases of artificial intelligence, IoT, smart Home, metaverse, and UHD cloud gaming are driving the demand for data and messaging services growth of the segment.
  • Major market vendors are launching innovative broadband services to add new revenue streams and elevate business and residential users' experience for high-speed internet connectivity within indoor environments, thus indicating demand for fixed networks. 
  • For instance, in June 2023, Nokia announced that Du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company, is deploying Nokia's Multi-Access Gateway (MAG) to provide broadband services to business and residential users over 4G/5G fixed-wireless access (FWA) in addition to the mobile services. The telecom company is leveraging the Nokia FastMile 5G gateways, MAG, and Nokia professional services. Furthermore, as per the survey by ITU and OECD, the number of mobile broadband connections per 100 inhabitants in UAE is estimated to increase by 16.4% by 2028.
  • Internet requirements are rising due to industries moving to cloud solutions and adoption of advanced technologies in business processes, and consumers are moving towards online shopping in the country, fueling both Fixed and mobile data services. In addition, the high number of internet users and social media users also augment the growth of the market. 
  • Moreover, market vendors are introducing innovative and flexible data and messaging packages, attracting consumers to use their services. For instance, Etisalat's Wasel Flexi plans allow customers to make their own plans according to their mobile needs. For small and medium-sized businesses, the company also offers Data Only Plans that are agile and rich in benefits, offering supersonic data with a selection between 500MB to 100GB, from only AED 29/month. Further, Du offers data-only SIM for postpaid customers and Flexi plans for prepaid customers, which deliver Double Data for six months on 4GB plus plans.
  • Overall, the demand for data and messaging services tends to grow at a significant rate in coming years, largely supported by growing internet and social media penetration, adoption of advanced technologies among businesses, increasing need for reliable and high-speed connectivity, innovative services launches by market vendors coupled with cost-effective data and messaging package offered by the telecom vendors.
UAE Telecom Market: Number of Mobile Broadband Connections Per 100 Inhabitants, United Arab Emirates, 2020-2028

Mobile Network to be the Fastest Growing Segment

  • The increasing use of devices per user, high rates of replacement, and users shifting from traditional phones to smartphones with the drop in prices were the significant factors that contributed to the growth of the mobile network segment.
  • Also there has also been the introduction of 5G, and the increase in mobile internet speed is expected to fuel further the growth of the mobile network segment in the country. Also, the United Arab Emirates has a robust mobile market dominated by major players, including Etisalat and Du, who are majority government-owned. Companies operating in these countries expand their business as the mobile network continuously evolves.
  • For instance, In February 2023, Du collaborated with Huawei to develop 5.5G (5G-Advanced) technology to provide significantly faster data speeds, lower latency, and increased energy efficiency. It has also selected Nokia to upgrade its existing 5G network, with the vendor providing services such as equipment replacement and automated transport slicing. Etisalat will launch its commercial 5G standalone network in late February 2023.
  • Moreover, the country's Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority has initiated the United IX program, which merges telecom providers' internet traffic exchange platforms e& and du. The program was completed in November 2022.
  • The growing mobile network in the country has elevated the demand for data and messaging services. Implementing 5G technology has amplified internet speeds and facilitated smoother and more efficient data transmission. This has led to a surge in data-hungry activities such as high-definition video streaming, online gaming, and other bandwidth-intensive applications.
  • The United Arab Emirates has experienced a steady and significant increase in telecom subscribers over recent years. The aggressive rollout and adoption of 5G technology by major telecom operators have attracted consumers seeking faster and more reliable connectivity. This push towards cutting-edge technology has encouraged more subscriptions. Additionally, the country ranks second in the survey by Speedtest, with an average mobile internet speed of 175.34 Mbps. Such technological advancements introduced by the regional mobile telecom vendors fuel the demand for mobile telecom services.
UAE Telecom Market: Countries with the Fastest Average Mobile Internet Speeds, in Mbps, as of April 2023

UAE Telecom Industry Overview

The UAE telecom market is consolidated, with fundamental players, such as Etisalat (Emirates Telecommunication Group Company PJSC), Al Yah Satellite Communications (Yahsat), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), and OSN (Orbit Showtime Network occupying most of the market share. Also, individual players are deploying the 5G network by partnering with various 5G infrastructure providers globally.

  • April 2023 - Etisalat by E& announced revamping its business mobile plans with more data and other benefits than ever before at no extra cost to satisfy clients' changing needs in the dynamic business ecosystem. Business First Plus and Business Xtreme plan to provide consumers with higher data allotments to meet businesses' increasing demand for data services.
  • March 2023 - OSN announced that it had extended its collaboration with Warner Bros. Discovery by entering into a new multi-year licensing agreement that will make it the exclusive home for HBO content in the region.

UAE Telecom Market Leaders

  1. Etisalat (Emirates Telecommunication Group Company PJSC)

  2. Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du)

  3. OSN (Orbit Showtime Network)

  4. AL Yah Satellite Communications Company PJSC (Yahsat)

  5. Thuraya Telecommunications Company

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order

UAE Telecom Market Concentration
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UAE Telecom Market News

  • August 2023 - Etisalat by E& announced the release of Wi-Fi as a Service, their newest product. This innovative solution was created to improve businesses' connections by expanding their Wi-Fi signal and coverage across their buildings. The comprehensive package allows UAE companies to benefit from improved Wi-Fi without bearing the cost of infrastructure upgrades through end-to-end installation, 24/7 assistance, and reduced OPEX (operating expenses).
  • April 2023 - Thuraya Telecommunications Company announced an investment agreement with Astrocast, a leading Low Earth Orbit and Internet of Things ("IoT") network operator. This agreement aims to extend a technical cooperation agreement that was originally entered between Astrocast and Thuraya for another four years, supporting its market growth in the telecom sector.

UAE Telecom Market Report - Table of Contents

  1. 1. INTRODUCTION

    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study

  2. 2. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

  3. 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  4. 4. MARKET INSIGHTS

    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.2.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers

      3. 4.2.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.2.4 Threat of Substitutes

      5. 4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    3. 4.3 An Assessment of the Impact of Recent Geopolitical Developments on the UAE Telecom Market

    4. 4.4 Analysis of Regulatory Reforms

    5. 4.5 Pestle Analysis Telecom Sector in United Arab Emirates

  5. 5. MARKET DYNAMICS

    1. 5.1 Market Drivers

      1. 5.1.1 Rise in Penetration of Smartphones

      2. 5.1.2 Government Policies and PPP Initiatives

      3. 5.1.3 Rising Digital Transformation in the Industries

    2. 5.2 Market Restraints

      1. 5.2.1 High Dependence on External Source to Balance the Skill Deficit

      2. 5.2.2 Heavy Dependence on Oil and Gas Sector

    3. 5.3 Evolution of Telecom Sector

      1. 5.3.1 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G Connections

      2. 5.3.2 Smart Home IoT and M2M Connections

    4. 5.4 Ecosystem Analysis

      1. 5.4.1 Tower Companies

      2. 5.4.2 OEMs (Small Cells, Das, Etc.)

      3. 5.4.3 MNOs

      4. 5.4.4 MVNOs

      5. 5.4.5 OTT/PayTV

  6. 6. SMART MOBILITY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

    1. 6.1 Smart Mobility Ecosystem

    2. 6.2 Urbanization Status in the United Arab Emirates

    3. 6.3 Automated Transport Opportunities

    4. 6.4 IoT and Connectivity

    5. 6.5 Key Urban Planning and Transport and Infrastructure Projects

  7. 7. TELECOM INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS VIS-Ã-VIS SMART CITIES IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

    1. 7.1 Telecom Infrastructure Developments in Smart Cities

    2. 7.2 UAE IoT Projects vis-ã-vis Smart City Developments

    3. 7.3 5G Adoption in the United Arab Emirates and Impact on Smart Cities

    4. 7.4 Connectivity Landscape

    5. 7.5 Growth Opportunities in Telecom Sector

  8. 8. MARKET SEGMENTATION

    1. 8.1 Overall Telecom Revenue

    2. 8.2 Telecom Services

      1. 8.2.1 Voice Services

        1. 8.2.1.1 Wired

        2. 8.2.1.2 Wireless

      2. 8.2.2 Data and Messaging Services

      3. 8.2.3 OTT and PayTV Services

    3. 8.3 Telecom Connectivity

      1. 8.3.1 Fixed Network

      2. 8.3.2 Mobile Network

  9. 9. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

    1. 9.1 Market Share Analysis of Key Vendors

    2. 9.2 Company Profiles*

      1. 9.2.1 Etisalat (Emirates Telecommunication Group Company PJSC)

      2. 9.2.2 Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du)

      3. 9.2.3 OSN (Orbit Showtime Network)

      4. 9.2.4 Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PJSC (YAHSAT)

      5. 9.2.5 Thuraya Telecommunications Company

  10. 10. INVESTMENT ANALYSIS

**Subject to Availability
*In the final study the company profile for Thuraya Telecommunications Company might be included within YAHSAT's profile.
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UAE Telecom Industry Segmentation

Telecom or Telecommunication refers to all states of data, voice, and video transmission and describes the electronic exchange of information over great distances. It includes various information-transmitting technologies and communications infrastructures, including landlines, cell phones, mobile phones, satellites, fiber optics, television, microwave communications, radio, the internet, and telegraphs.

The telecom industry in the UAE is segmented by telecom services (voice services [wired, wireless], data and messaging services, OTT and pay-TV services) and telecom connectivity (fixed network, mobile network). The report offers market forecasts and size in value (USD) for all the above segments.

Telecom Services
Voice Services
Wired
Wireless
Data and Messaging Services
OTT and PayTV Services
Telecom Connectivity
Fixed Network
Mobile Network
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UAE Telecom Market Research Faqs

The UAE Telecom Market size is expected to reach USD 9.37 billion in 2024 and grow at a CAGR of 3.15% to reach USD 10.93 billion by 2029.

In 2024, the UAE Telecom Market size is expected to reach USD 9.37 billion.

Etisalat (Emirates Telecommunication Group Company PJSC), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), OSN (Orbit Showtime Network) , AL Yah Satellite Communications Company PJSC (Yahsat) and Thuraya Telecommunications Company are the major companies operating in the UAE Telecom Market.

In 2023, the UAE Telecom Market size was estimated at USD 9.08 billion. The report covers the UAE Telecom Market historical market size for years: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. The report also forecasts the UAE Telecom Market size for years: 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029.

UAE Telecom Industry Report

Statistics for the 2024 UAE Telecom market share, size and revenue growth rate, created by Mordor Intelligence™ Industry Reports. UAE Telecom analysis includes a market forecast outlook to for 2024 to 2029 and historical overview. Get a sample of this industry analysis as a free report PDF download.

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Telecom Industry in UAE Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)