UAE broadband Internet users to grow by 53 percent in 2003
Though current figures are relatively low, the number of broadband Internet users are projected to leap by 53 percent in 2003 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This makes the UAE one of the first in the region to record such wide adoption of high-speed Internet connectivity that has become the standard in the United States and the European Union.
UAE's young and educated community of Internet users who are beginning to migrate to faster and higher quality connections drives the exponential growth of the broadband Internet. As a result, broadband usage will continue to expand very rapidly, while the number of narrow-band (dial-up) users will reduce by five percent per year, according to a study conducted by Madar Research Group based on a user-profile survey released by Emirates Internet and Multimedia (EIM).
"Broadband Internet is set to become the norm in most countries and it is encouraging to know that the UAE is once again taking the lead in this field," said Director of services, Dubai eGovernment Salem Al-Shair. "This development will considerably enhance people's ability to use Dubai eGovernment's advanced online services on the portal…with higher efficiency and greater speed.”
The study estimates that Internet penetration in the UAE will grow by 10 percent in 2003, to reach 1,175,000, the highest in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Some 11.3 percent of the total would be using the broadband Internet which includes Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), leased and ISDN lines.
The preference for the broadband Internet is driven by the need for downloading audio and video files from the Internet, requiring a connection that is higher than a standard 56 kbps dial-up connection.
Though broadband usage in the UAE is relative within the region, the growth rate is quite slow when contrasted with European countries such as the UK where broadband users rose by 235 percent in one year from April 2002 to April 2003, according to the report. Hong Kong holds the record with 82 percent of its Internet population connected via broadband. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)