We’re paying too much for broadband

Experts think broadband prices should go down in Dubai.

Broadband operators in the Middle East need to learn from European providers by dropping pricing to increase their revenue growth and stimulate uptake of the service, a leading expert has said.

Nicholas Jotischky, principal analyst, mobile research for London-based Informa Telecoms & Media, said he was “staggered” that operators in the region had “got it so wrong” over pricing and that it was fundamental the broadband market was opened to competition.

Fixed broadband penetration is as low as four percent in Kuwait, with even the figure for the UAE at around 30 percent, low compared to the UK where broadband penetration is over twice that number, said Jotischky.

“I am staggered operators have got broadband pricing so wrong and penetration rates are so low,” he said. “There are lessons to be learnt from European operators in terms of pricing strategies.”

His colleague, Mark Newman, chief research officer, mobile operator strategies for the firm, said there was potential for Dubai’s mobile phone market to be opened to a third operator, which would help to bring down prices and improve services.

“The relative cost of building up a network is low, it’s a dense population and it’s flat and the cost of good infrastructure is relatively cheap,” he said.

“The issue for any operator coming into Dubai is regulation and whether the regulator is prepared to impose cost-base interconnection on new players and fair access for other services.”

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