Mobile phone air-time rates in the UAE are cheaper than the regional average, the Arab Advisers Group said yesterday. A report by the Jordan-based research firm, which analysed the average cost per minute of mobile air-time charges in 19 regional countries, ranked the UAE as 12th-most expensive for post-paid charges, up from 17th in a previous survey in 2006. For prepaid charges, the Emirates ranked 17th this year, from 19th in 2006, then the cheapest rates in the region. Faten Bader, a senior research analyst at the Arab Advisors Group, said the UAE moved up the rankings because its rates stayed static while other countries' rates had fallen. Considering the spending power of the Emirates and other GCC nations, the UAE's mobile rates were reasonable, she said. "The Gulf countries have high GDP and generally the [rates] are all below the average, and they do not pay taxes on the services," said Ms Bader. "Compared to Jordan, with a 20 per cent tax on the minute rate and connection fee, it makes a big difference." In the survey, Lebanon had the highest rates for prepaid services and Morocco was the most expensive for post-paid calls. Mobile users in Egypt enjoy the lowest prepaid rate, while Yemenis pay the cheapest post-paid rate. The most dramatic drop in rates was in Egypt, which had the fourth-most expensive prepaid rate in 2006 and now had the cheapest per-minute prepaid charge, said Ms Bader. "More competition happened in Egypt, that's why," she said. "And introduction of a third mobile operator, also that changed the rates." The results were similar to a report produced in June last year by Teligen, commissioned by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain, which examined mobile rates across the Middle East. In that report, the UAE's mobile rates via du and Etisalat were ranked as the three cheapest for either low, medium or high-usage services. Since du broke Etisalat's monopoly in 2006, it has been aggressive in its marketing with added-value services such as free SIM cards and cutting international call costs, said Simon Simonian, a research analyst at Shuaa Capital. He expects this competition to keep mobile phone costs on a stable or downwards trend. While the UAE took a big jump in the rankings for post-paid rates, less than 8 per cent of all mobile phone customers subscribed to this service, he said, adding the UAE had seen record rates of high inflation last year but mobile phone charges held steady. "The basic rate hasn't changed," said Mr Simonian. "But you are getting free credits, promotions, and the other point is that everything is getting more expensive, but your telephone bill is not changing. Indirectly, it is getting cheaper." firstname.lastname@example.org
What will be the big trend in the technology world in 2014?
What will be the dominant trends over the next twelve months? Let us know by taking our online poll.
Homefront: no rent cap on property in DIFC
Property expert Mario Volpi is here to help readers with their property issues.
UAE developments light up the International Property Awards
Etihad Towers on the Abu Dhabi Corniche and Akoya by Damac on the outskirts of Dubai were both recognised by the IPA in a set of awards for the best architecture on the globe.
In pictures: Etihad’s new destinations for 2014
The Abu Dhabi carrier is heading to all corners of the globe on its new routes.
Put your UAE mortgage on the map
Ever wonder what your neighbours pay on their home loan? The National has launched a way to compare rates around the country, with the goal of improving the UAE's financial transparency.
Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards
Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- Abu Dhabi Executive Council removes 5 per cent rent cap
- The choice may be global warming or a new Ice Age, say scientists
- UK expats and overseas investors hit with capital gains tax on property
- Reem Al Hashemi delivers stirring speech for Dubai in Paris
- DED official issues assurances on rent rise fears in Abu Dhabi