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Etisalat, a major operator in the Middle East and North Africa region, reported that its data roaming traffic in 2010 jumped by 200 per cent as businesses and consumers access an increasing number of advanced services when travelling.
The figure includes traffic from Etisalat's UAE customers, as well as from its international clientele of global operators who subscribe to Etisalat's leading portfolio of carrier and wholesale services, according to a company statement.
Ali Amiri, Executive Vice President Carrier and Wholesale, Etisalat, explained the new roaming strategy stating: "We are witnessing a trend in roaming, and in particular data roaming, which is undergoing exponential growth. We have seen our data roaming traffic increase more than 200 per cent last year."
Mr. Amiri pointed out that he sees consumer appetite for data roaming to continue to grow and Etislat does not expect any slowdown in roaming traffic anytime soon.
Abdulraheem Aqeel, Vice President, Service Delivery Management, Carrier & Wholesale Services, Etisalat, commented on the technology trends driving roaming growth, which can be attributed to four key aspects, namely the ability for Mobile Operators to act as ISPs, the increase in consumers using the same device for both personal and work reasons, the increase in browsing, and streaming and the implementation of new services such as location-based applications (including augmented reality) and financial services.
Abdulraheem also talked about the roaming hub system Etisalat has used to efficiently roll out roaming services in new countries and markets. "Etisalat provides a Roaming Replicator service which effectively provides access to more than 600 networks worldwide through a single connection to many operators across the Middle East, Africa and Asia region," he said.