United Arab Emirates-based telco Etisalat has announced it has reached 500,000 residential broadband subscribers, bringing the country’s broadband penetration rate to 11.4%. The company’s chief corporate affairs officer, Nasser bin Obood, commented: ‘This is above many international benchmarks and means that to grow penetration even further, we need to take a different approach – we need to be service driven.’ He added that to achieve further growth in the market, the company will invest in areas such as IPTV, technical support and mobile broadband.
Etisalat recently announced the availability of fixed line broadband services offering download speeds of up to 8Mbps and 16Mbps for customers that are connected to its fibre-to-the-home network (FTTH). The company aims to connect the entire city of Abu Dhabi to its next generation network by mid-2009 and is also preparing to provide its domestic customers with mobile broadband services using HSPA+, enabling theoretical download speeds of up to 20Mbps. Bin Obood concluded: ‘Smartphones and broadband subscribers are driving the market today and this is why in the UAE and across the Middle East, Africa and Asia we are continuing to invest in next generation infrastructure and services to provide the highest quality to our customers.’