Dubai: Etisalat has accelerated its focus on small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE with new data packages as they play a major role in the economy.

“The UAE is poised to lead SME investment in the technology sector in the near term. Today, SMEs represent more than 90 per cent of UAE businesses playing an essential role in building a private sector, and contributing significantly to employment and economic activity in the UAE,” John Lincoln, senior vice-president, business marketing at etisalat, told Gulf News.

He said that the 250,000 SMEs in the UAE provide 86 per cent of all private sector employment. “We serve a majority of them.”

According to the Ministry of Economy, the sector contributes an estimated 60 per cent of the UAE’s GDP (gross domestic product).

He said the new ‘Business Ultimate’ packages are customised and targeted at specific business needs. There are four bundled packages at Dh99, Dh199, Dh399 and Dh999. All the bundles comprise local calls, international calls, SMS, local data and the new 4G LTE smartphones at zero upfront costs.

SMEs can take a package separately or opt for one-year or two-year contracts with a subsidised handset.

Apart from these packages, he said that firms can also opt for multiple add–on options based on their usage patterns.

According to an industry expert, telecom providers are focusing more on data packages as their revenue from voice is falling year-on-year.

“The top priorities for SME customers is to lower capital expenses, economise international calling and also avail of latest devices to increase productivity,” Lincoln said.