ITU: UAE is regional leader in Internet penetration
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) leads the way country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Internet penetration, with 36.7 percent of the population having access to the Internet in 2002.
According to a newly released report by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and issued by Emirates Internet and Multimedia (EIM), this figure is a marked increase over the country’s 28 percent connectivity rate in 2001.
The study, conducted in 2002 throughout the GCC, Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the UK, also found that the UAE now has a total of 1,117,600 users, the second highest number on the region. Although Saudi Arabia has more actual users, at 1,600,000, the penetration of the population is just 6.9 percent because of its high population.
Whilst the number of actual subscribers in the UAE is 300,000, the report highlighted that the high penetration rate is due to the country having highest number of Internet users to PCs among any of the regions surveyed, at 2.6 users to every PC. Further penetration growth, therefore, is very much dependent on the proliferation of Internet enabled devices.
A major component in the annual increase of subscribers within the country can be attributed to dial-up subscribers, the most basic form of connection. Over the coming years, EIM expects many of these subscribers to migrate to high-speed broadband Internet.
Another contributing factor to the UAE's success is the reductions in price since the Internet was launched in 1995. Since then, the cost of dial-up registration has fallen 90 percent, from 15 Emirati dirhams (four dollars) per hour to just Dh 1.8. Costs for businesses were also revised and corporate customers received significant savings when the costs of leased lines were slashed by up to 60 percent. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)