The impact of the telecom sector in contributing to the UAE's GDP is increasing and has reached 5.3% in 2010, said Mohammed Al Ghanim, director general of Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
He said that the UAE's broadband subscriber number has seen 14% growth last year. "2011 is to bring in the opening of the infrastructure sharing in the UAE. We have a special focus on network sharing, and right pricing for sharing is key to make broadband a success," said Al Ghanim at a recent event in Dubai.
Earlier, in January, UAE telcos Etisalat and Du went on to test their shared networks ahead of a national rollout this year. Al Ghanim said that the main challenges facing fibre in the country are migration of the existing customer profiles on to the fibre network and customer satisfaction. "To get the return on investments on fibre, operators need to put in place the right pricing elements, and we are working on to make sure the usability of fibre to the home (FTTH) is happening by next year," he added.
He said the major users of spectrum in the country are government, operators and broadcasters. "We are in serious discussions for migration to 700 MHz spectrum in 2012, and moving to digital TV," he added.