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Aptec moves to boost market share as UAE mobile phone penetration extensively outpaces landlines

Recent study shows that UAE has 2.51 million mobile phone subscribers, against 1.10 million fixed lines June 14, 2003

Aptec Gulf, the leading regional distributor of mobile phones and accessories is stepping up its marketing activities to meet the projected high demand for mobile phones, as a new study shows that mobile phone penetration continues to accelerate rapidly in the UAE, recording unprecedented growth across all emirates, especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

By the end of February 2003, the number of mobile phones subscribers in the UAE stood at 2.5 million, against the number of fixed lines of a little over 1 million, according to a study by the Dubai-based Madar Research Group.

"Aptec has been closely monitoring the dramatic growth patterns in the mobile phones markets of the UAE and the region," said Bahaa Salah, Regional General Manager, Gulf, Lebanon & Africa, Aptec Gulf. "This is a challenging phase for the regional mobile phone industry. Aptec is completely geared to meet this rising demand for mobile phones. We will soon unveil our strategic expansion plans and innovative marketing strategies to meet this quantum leap in the market demand. We have lined up several competitive deals and value addition offers for our customers."

"The Aptec Online service on our website ( allows customers to order mobile phones directly over the Internet as part our service-oriented approach to offer greater purchasing options," said Salah. "The website also features bargains, special offers and new arrivals besides highlighting the key features of all the mobile phone models. With the UAE market getting more sophisticated, we expect this online channel to gain greater acceptance in the days to come."

The Madar study shows Dubai to be the undisputed leader in the mobile market, with a penetration of nearly 90 per cent, reaching the league of countries like Finland and Italy. Dubai also commands 39 per cent share of the total UAE mobile subscriber base, 40 per cent of the fixed landlines and 38 per cent of Internet users.

After Dubai, Abu Dhabi takes the second position in the UAE, with a mobile phone penetration of 62.5 per cent. Together, the two emirates account for 73 per cent fixed lines, 74 per cent mobile phones and 72 per cent Internet connections in the UAE. Mobile phone penetration in the other emirates is as follows: East Coast 56.7 per cent (against 23.6 per cent land lines); West Coast 55.1 per cent (against 27.7 per cent landlines) and Ras Al Khaimah 46.4 per cent (against 25.7 per cent).

"The runaway growth in mobile phone subscriptions is accompanied by near stagnancy in fixed land lines, sending a clear message that the mobile phone revolution is showing no signs of slowing down," said Salah. "The potential appears to be far greater as the integration between mobile phones, mobile devices and PCs is likely to provide new impetus to the communications industry. With instant communication becoming the norm of every business, the mobile phone is now an integral part of daily life in the UAE."

"The huge potential in the UAE presents mobile phone distributors with a tough and competitive playing field," said Salah. "As part of our strategy for the Middle East and drawing on our in-depth market intelligence, we are allocating extra resources to retain Aptec's competitive edge in this sector. We will continue to build on the customer loyalty in the UAE as well as in the region. Aptec's huge network of outlets and unparalleled standards of service sets its apart from the rest. As distributors for the world's leading mobile phone brands, we combine value-for-money with superior customer service tailored to meet the demands of the markets in the region especially the UAE. Aptec will continue to play a leading role in one of the world's fastest growing mobile phone markets."

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