“While there is increasing liberalisation of the mobile market across the region, mobile operators in the Middle East have benefited from the relative lack of competition in both fixed and mobile markets and have been able to bring in impressive revenues,” says the report’s author, Daniel Jones. “However, as competition intensifies across the region, operators will have an increasingly tough time trying to maintain this premium.”
Key findings from the new report include:
- Total mobile service revenue is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 10%, from USD22 billion in 2006 to USD39.7 billion by the end of 2012. In many countries, service revenue will be boosted by strong growth in subscribers, outweighing the effect of falling average revenue per user (ARPU), which will accompany subscriber growth in many maturing markets.
- Penetration across the region is set to grow rapidly, with liberalising markets where penetration is furthest from saturation leading this growth. New mobile operators in Egypt and Saudi Arabia will be among the major catalysts for subscriber growth in the region.
- Low fixed-line penetration in the Middle East will allow mobile operators to capture a greater share of total telecoms spend than would otherwise have been possible and will present opportunities for mobile operators to increase their non-voice ARPU through the provision of mobile broadband.
This report analyses current trends in the Middle Eastern mobile market, including the role of market liberalisation, new wireless technologies and the strategies of incumbents and new entrants as competition intensifies. It presents comprehensive analysis and forecasts for the region as a whole, as well as for Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Forecasts are broken down by subscriber numbers, ARPU, revenue, retail spend and average spend per user (ASPU) for four market segments (large corporations, residential prepaid, residential contract and SMEs), three service categories (voice, person-to-person messaging and other data services) and four technology generations (2G, 2.5G, 3G and 3.5G).