UAE leads world in mobile penetration rate - new report

Oman is third.
UAE, Oman, Mobile, Penetration, United Arab Emirates, Society, Tech, Business, Services, Statista, Middle East


Visitors at the Mall of Dubai in Dubai, UAE. Photo credit: Ben Mack

The United Arab Emirates leads the world in mobile penetration, according to a new report. Elsewhere in the Middle East, Oman is third.

According to Hamburg-based research and information design firm Statista, the UAE has the highest mobile penetration rate in the world at 173 percent. In second place was Greece at 171 percent. Following Oman at third on the list are Portugal in fourth and Estonia in fifth place.

With almost seven million (6.944 million) mobile subscribers at end of 2017 in Oman, the sultanate averaged about 1.5 mobile phones per person. The overall penetration rate was about 152.3 percent.

Further, according to Oman’s Telecom Regulatory Authority's (TRA) 2017 Annual Report, there were 78,000 more mobile subscriptions in Oman at the end of 2017 than the end of 2016. Prepaid mobile connections represent 90.63 percent of the total mobile subscriptions in the sultanate.

Fixed telephone lines also are increasing in Oman, with growth of 21 percent in 2017 to 509,756 total lines – raising the penetration rate from 73 percent in 2016 to 87 percent in 2017.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of growth in Oman’s mobile and fixed line subscriptions was in the capital of Muscat – which was also, equally unsurprisingly, where the majority of fixed Internet connection, fixed broadband, and mobile broadband growth was.

Omantel took up 42 percent of the overall market share. According to TRA, 70 percent of the sultantate’s overall telecom revenue came from mobile services, 29 percent from fixed line services, and the remaining one percent from other telecom services.

The average revenue per mobile subscription was RO7.2 in 2017, while it was RO27.1 for each fixed Internet subscription and RO4.1 per fixed telephone subscription.

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