Etisalat, the larger of the two mobile operators in the United Arab Emirates, has launched data bundles designed specifically for tablets. The MNO’s consumer postpaid offers, which can be purchased with 12-month or 24-month contracts, start at a monthly cost of AED 150.00 (US $40.84) and include 1 GB of data and a free tablet such as the Samsung Tab S. Subscribers can upgrade their plans to 5 GB or 10 GB of data per month at an additional cost of AED 100.00 (US $27.22) or AED 200 (US $54.45), respectively. Prepaid customers who purchase a data bundle with a free tablet on an upfront payment basis receive 1 GB of data at no cost for the first month and pay AED 99.00 (US $26.95) per month thereafter.
In the UAE there are many barometers that indicate that a good deal of the population is tech savvy. The country has the world’s highest mobile penetration rate, and according to a recent study, it has a 94 percent smartphone penetration, with the shift from feature phones to smartphones continuing. The UAE also ranks 13th in the world in terms of the number of people who go online. Furthermore, a recent trend indicates a growing use of tablets in lieu of computers and laptops. Survey results for the first time show that in Q2 2014 tablet shipments surpassed those of computers by more than 6,700 units (see graph). This consumer behavior, plus the growth in high-end devices, is increasing the demand for data. On the other hand, it could be the case that data-hungry users are driving the sales of these devices.
It is a good move for Etisalat to offer tablet data bundles to go with the devices the market is choosing, and we believe these new offers will provide the operator with a new revenue stream. In addition to satisfying the adult population, it has created these bundles to meet the needs of the country’s youth, who are turning to tablets for educational and entertainment purposes. This is another good strategic move by Etisalat, since Du, the UAE’s other mobile operator, has already launched tablet data bundles for its business subscribers, and it appears that each operator dominates different sectors of the market.
The above item appeared in a recent issue of The Tarifica Alert, a weekly resource that analyzes noteworthy developments in the telecoms industry from around the world. To access all of the latest articles and issues: http://www.tarifica.com/TarificaAlert.aspx