Will the appoval of Mobile VOIP usage in the U.A.E on consumer plans by TRA have a negative impact on existing Enterprise mobile offerings?

A recent survey conducted by TeleThinkers showed that there was a considerable increase in migrations from consumer rate plans to enterprise rate plans in 2009 compared to 2008 in the U.A.E. Minimum subscriber requirements [...]

What women want – Part 1

A recent survey conducted by TeleThinkers showed that almost 89 % of men in the middle to higher class category in the U.A.E buy phones to compliment their status symbol or [...]

Things to consider before designing or developing a mobile offering for the U.A.E market

Taking into consideration that U.A.E offers a mix of cultures that fall into 4 different categories of classes. Over 55% of the population falls under the middle-class category, 13% falls under the [...]

Quality offer from du is not picking up in sales

An excellent offer by du to obtain with ease really good mobile numbers and use the package for excessive International discounts is falling behind in sales according to a research conducted by [...]

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Top developers seek to market to a higher paying segment and sell their quality mobile applications for a price higher than that is sellable to the iPhone App Store ‘budget sensitive market’.

Published on May 2nd, 2009no comments

App Store for cheap applications onlyA recent analysis by compete showed that zero or slightly higher than that was still the number of application downloads on the non-iPhone platform, and another survey revealed that apprently iPhone app store users were the least willing to pay a higher fee for content, and in another report by mobile app/game ad network Greystripe confirms what a lot of iPhone/iPod touch owners already know — namely, that the lifespan of a typical iPhone app is short, real short. In fact, the average iPhone App is used a mere 20 times before it’s sent out to pasture. In restaurant-speak, Apple has cornered the market on “fast food” (and by inference, short-order cooks), but has yet to find the model that drives fine chefs to create white tablecloth, extended dining experiences.

This to me suggests that there is room for a mobile app store that specifically delivers quality content, for higher price than the current norm on the apple app store. This will cover the needs for those end users that are willing to pay a higher price for quality mobile applications catering to their business or personal needs and will cover the requirement of those developers that seek to market and sell their mobile applications for a price higher than that is sellable to the iPhone market.

I think that quality developers will shift from Apple’s iPhone App Store towards other App Stores, such as the newly launched BlackBerry AppWorld, for reasons that would allow them the ability to market to a higher paying segment, that currently does not exist with the iPhone users, and sell their content at a price that they seem fit for their target market.


What do you think?

App store(s) by Etisalat or Du, will it work?

Published on May 1st, 2009no comments

App Stores by Etisalat & Du

A report from ‘compete.com’ showed that zero or bare minimum was still a popular number of app downloads for non-iphone owners. The graph below shows that some smartphone users have only 1-5 downloads, some 6-10, some over 31, etc. But look at the other phones surveyed. A lot of them haven’t downloaded any apps. And those that don’t have zero, seem to prefer downloading only 1-5.



What mobile games would be hot for U.A.E demographics Part 1

Published on April 28th, 2009no comments

Mobile Games Appeal for South Asians in the U.A.E                       Mobile Games Appeal for Iranians and Other Arabs in the U.A.E



Idea: Skype enabled mobile phones in the U.A.E will make the expensive unlimited wireless broadband package here more attractive

Published on April 25th, 2009no comments

skypemobileEver since Skype’s iPhone client enabled Skype-to-Skype calls (and send IMs) for free over Wi-Fi, I’ve been wondering what the next step towards the mobilization of Skype would be. The answer came today by the way of 3 UK, a 3G wireless operator. The company unveiled a new $3, Skype-enabled SIM card that will allow anyone to make Skype-to-Skype calls and send IMs from any phone on 3’s wireless broadband network. Of course, for the service to work, mobile subscribers would have to buy 3’s data plans, which are often more expensive than those just for voice. Skype accounts for 1.5 million minutes on the 3 network everyday.

From 1 May, there will be no data charges or top-up fees for either contract or pay-as-you-go customers who use Skype on 3’s network. Anyone with a 3 handset will be able to buy a 3 SIM with Skype enabled and talk as much as they want to other Skype users without ever having to pay another penny. During the summer, 3 will expand its offer to make it possible for anyone with a compatible 3G phone to take advantage of free Skype calls, whether or not their phone is from 3.


U.A.E Telecom expenditures on building mobile broadband service capability still not justified from existing ROI models

Published on April 23rd, 2009no comments

Where is the money? Apparently the idea behind investing on mobile broadband capability for telecoms was originally to gain on new revenue streams and increase ARPU from m-commerce, which unfortunately has not yet come to fruition.The wireless operators cannot cover these added expenditures based on current revenue, voice and wireless internet that does not even come close to compensate for the growing costs.

In a small market like the U.A.E where 3G implementation costs far exceed any potential existing or not yet thought of ROI models, how willl the telecoms here ever be able to justify these investments? Poor data services penetration and competitive ARPU models are already eating into existing revenues here and adding to the 3G pandora’s dilemma are the direct selling capability trend that is picking up fast as a preferred point of sale model for content providers. Listed below are a few consumer mobile commerce usage trends that are now directly posing a threat to potential telecom revenues.


By offering cheaper services du will make it hard upon itself to ever upgrade its ARPU status to a profitable higher one

Published on April 21st, 2009no comments

du New Products Development Dept.Surveys conducted in ’07 showed that competing in air tariffs would not be so beneficial in the long run as Telcos will be reducing their long term Average Revenue Per User. Surely to gain a higher subscriber base in volume rather than a higher subscriber base in revenues has been the focus for all in order to compete, especially for those newly competing. However, in a place that has a 183% market penetration, the challenge in the long run would become in proposing an upgrade, a more expensive, profitable premium package to those who initially invested in du because of their cheaper offerings.



WhatToBuy: Proposition for the society of smart people – Elite Plan by du

Published on April 21st, 2009no comments

Elite Package by du

TeleThinkers Rating:


The Good:

  •  Get a really nice number by just committing to your monthly spending amount, no extra charges will apply as you will only pay for your usage charges if you go above your commited amount or equal it.
  • The free numbers that du is issuing in exchange for a simple monthly commitment package are worth a lot more if you were to get them from a reseller or Etisalat.
  • Estimated market/resale price of a Gold number being issued by du: (AED 7000 – AED 15000)
  • Estimated market/resale price of a Silver number being issued by du: (AED 4000 – AED 6500)
  • Estimated market/resale price of a Bronze number being issued by du: (AED 1500 – AED 3500)
  • You can get upto a 75% discount on international calls
  • You can also avail the 50% savings program by registering to the ’My Family’ network
  • Cheaper MMS
  • Monthly free 5MB data services, 55 free minutes on national calls & 55 free national SMS
  • Cheaper 3G video calls – 1 fills/sec
  • You still pay by the second  
  • You can transform your existing postpaid package to an Elite package without being charged a dime

The Bad:

  • Only 3 commitment options to choose from: AED 200, AED 500 and AED 1000
  • Sadly most really good numbers will require the highest commitment offer
  • Free monthly 5MB data service is too less
  • Only a single monthly fee/package of AED 25, Higher fee packages should have been offered with Elite to include more data and unlimited domestic data services.

The Ugly:

  • Nothing ugly about this beautiful offer!

What do you think?

Budget smartphones trend in the U.A.E is picking up

Published on April 19th, 2009no comments

Cell phone makers are expected to report buoyant sales of lower-priced, feature-packed smartphones as consumers opt for “Budget-smartphones” amid the global recession. Nokia dominates the smartphone market with around a 40 percent share, but has steadily lost ground over the last quarters to new rivals like Apple, which launched its iPhone in 2007. JP Morgan said Nokia’s market share stability in the fourth quarter may suggest its “smartphone on a budget” offerings like the 5800 are beginning to resonate with consumers.

 ’The poor man’s iPhone’ concept – a device with clunky and old-fashioned software, but much cheaper price, better camera quality, lower weight and far superior stand-by time is clearly picking up as a trend amongst those in U.A.E who want to keep up with the fast paced lifestyle here and with the mobility to get just emails, tasks and contacts that work here now demands.

A recent survey conducted by TeleThinkers to find out what the top reasons were why people were investing in du’s mobile connection offers revealed the following:

Why people are investing in du's mobile connection

The results clearly suggest the savings trend that consumers in the U.A.E are moving towards and hence it is high time Etisalat and du realise this and compliment it with offering subsidies on cheaper smart phones rather than just monthly payment plans on pricey phones like Apple iPhone 3G or the BlackBerry smart phones.

What do you think?

WhatToBuy: Etisalat’s BlackBerry Storm Offer

Published on April 17th, 2009no comments

Blackberry Storm

TeleThinkers Rating:


The Good:

  • SurePress technology on the BlackBerry Storm gives you an amazing touch screen experience by allowing you to feel your clicks with your fingers and by reducing room for error when typing with the soft keyboard.
  • 3G and GPS
  • 3.2 Mega Pixel camera
  • Etisalat is offering its 3G services for free for 3 months with the purchase of the new BlackBerry Storm
  • Free mobile applications come with the purchase of the Etisalat’s BlackBerry Package

The Bad:

  • Its Pricey! - AED 3140 is the price tag right now for the new BlackBerry Storm if you buy with the Etisalat Package, where as you are getting an unlocked version from Sharaf DG for as low as AED 2699. Makes you wonder if Etisalat is actually offering those 3 months of free 3G services, while charging AED 441 extra for the phone.
  • No WiFi! – BlackBerry needs to let go of the fear of losing revenue from ’over-the-air’ services to ‘free Wi-Fi in every corner’ services, as whatever has to happen will happen in a natural course of things and they should embrace all technologies for a better user experience. This also means that it is kind of pointless buying the unlocked version as you will need over-the-air services to connect to the internet since there is no WiFi built-in.
  • Soft Keyboard is comparatively much harder to use than expected.

The Ugly:

  • Too Thick! - BlackBerry could have done so much better by offering the Storm in a sleek, slim and sexier body casing rather than the traditional thick body casing that it endures because of its hard keyboard design.
  • No Colors! - Seriously where are all the colorful icons? The dull, serious black & white appearance of icons makes it difficult to differentiate between them and adds to the bulky boring image that it portrays.

WhatToBuy: Iphone3G OR BlackBerry Storm

Published on April 15th, 2009no comments

etisalatlogo21The latest touch phone offerings from Etisalat makes the decision process, when shopping for one of them, even more difficult, as both phones have an equally high appeal and contribute evenly to the status quo of the U.A.E demographics. However, Telethinkers have had a go at both products/services and suggest the following to be reviewed by everyone in the U.A.E who is considering to invest in any of the two phone offerings from Etisalat.

iPhone3G Vs BlackberryStorm (more…)

Idea: How to bring the dead Pay phone back to life?

Published on April 7th, 2009no comments

payphonerip-copyIt seems the one segment that once did wonders in revenues for telcos has now been forgotten or dead, the Pay phone. The gradual unpopularity and demise of this service is the direct result of  the 183% penetration in mobile connections in the U.A.E market. Its time for telcos to innovate along the lines of integrating web essentials into the pay phone and bringing it back to life by offering to all and those even carrying a cell phone a service incorporating web essentials accessible via all pay phones. Here is how: (more…)

Survey: Lets find out why people want to purchase a du connection

Published on April 6th, 2009no comments

dulogo21 Thank you in advance for your contribution in filling out this survey. I will post the results later next week.


Idea: Design your own savings connection package

Published on April 3rd, 2009no comments

Design your own savings connectionMy family by du and other such similar offerings limit the potential of the actual savings proposition as some people find it awkward, for example in the case of ‘My family’ service, to add professional work related contacts or acquaintances to their family network in order to save on calls made to them. Such a proposition is mainly designed to excite the user to buy into a savings program that can be used to make cheaper calls to a select few preferred numbers and hence contribute to the much needed growth of subscriberbase for a competing telco. However, telcos in the U.A.E seem to be limiting the potential of such a program by giving it a specific demographics image such as ‘My Family’, where such a proposition has a potential appeal for all, as all require the need to save on calls, and not just limited to families, friends or co-workers and therefore should be given a new marketable image that would appeal to all the demographics of U.A.E  and should be left open for customization directly by the end user at time of purchase. Here is how:


Telcos are thinking B.I.G (Blackberry, Iphone, Gphone)

Published on March 30th, 2009no comments

Etisalat du    Blackberry for email & enterprise, Iphone for style & fun, and the Gphone (Android) for web convenience are the new shiny toys that the telcos like to call ‘their offerings’. How have these phones changed the business of Telco? Well for starters, they have added ‘cool’ to the equation and have increased a sentiment amongst the end users for considering mobility as a deliverer of the micro web platform and becoming your one stop connection node to the world and its offerings. However, how is this going to affect the Telcos in the future? Are telcos losing control over possible revenues from the web content, from advertisements, from voice and messaging by offering these shiny new toys capable of running on super fast internet connection that is able to deliver live video, voice over IP, capable of providing location based services regardless of GPS (Google maps), capable of running its own browser based advertisement network, and capable of becoming a channel for all mobile content? (more…)

Pay monthly for an year and get your dream phone

Published on March 29th, 2009no comments

etisalatlogo21dulogo24    Subsidizing handsets is the latest trend setting attempt by UAE telecoms in order to sell during an economic slowdown, to sell premium mobile broadband packages (premium mobility = higher ARPU), and to force customer loyalty by locking the handset to the network in return for an easy monthly payment plan. while this may seem like a Win/Win situation for all it might not be that beneficial for the end user, here is why: (more…)

Fastest mobile broadband speed for a non-existent catalogue of mobile content for local demographics?

Published on March 28th, 2009no comments

etisalatlogo2It seems like Etisalat has it all now with becoming the worlds fastest mobile internet provider but is that all it will need to justify its efforts in maintaining such a costly network? Mobile data usage has grown exponentially since the launch of the iPhone trend, however, this market survey is of the west and UAE has yet to prove that it can provide the content for the growing mobile savvy society it nurtures. Lack of content appealing to specific local demographics in form of lifestyle, convenience and savings, in the country could spell doomsday for the fastest mobile broadband connection in the world. It is high time Etisalat realises that ‘Content is King’ and more importantly content is the only way to compete in the U.A.E where market penetration now exceeds 183%. Before reaching wireless nirvana, i.e. establishing an all IP network for future communications and mobile data usage, Etisalat has a long way to go in figuring out a way in delivering useful, entertaining & lifestyle based mobile content to the local demographics of U.A.E and more importantly figuring out a way to generate revenue from it.

What do you think?