Middle East-Mobile Infrastructure and Mobile Broadband

Middle East-Mobile Infrastructure and Mobile Broadband


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Executive Summary

Mobile broadband revenues rising in the Middle East

For those countries of the Middle East which have reached mobile saturation; we are beginning to see positive signs that mobile broadband revenues are beginning to grow. In Bahrain, for example, revenues from mobile broadband are continuously rising and now contribute over 35% to total broadband revenues – compared to only 7% in 2010. Mobile data and mobile broadband also present the next significant revenue growth opportunity for the mobile operators in Iran. Revenue from mobile data is quickly edging towards a 40% market share in Turkey, while mobile voice revenue is clearly in decline.

Many countries have invested heavily in improving mobile broadband infrastructure, including 4G LTE deployment. The operators in Israel, for example, have focused on expanding network coverage and increasing download speeds through LTE.

In 2016 in Lebanon, both Touch and Alfa are planning upgrading and expanding their 4G networks. Iran is also upgrading to TD-LTE as well as moving towards LTE-A.

Mobile broadband has also become a feasible proposition in Oman and a viable alternative to fixed broadband following substantial investments in HSPA and LTE technology.

Etisalat and du in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have both deployed sophisticated HSPA+ and LTE networks which cover a large proportion of the country. Both operators are also demonstrating a key interest in 5G developments. Development of 4G in Jordan is well underway and growing strongly with an estimated penetration of around 11-14% in 2016.

Kuwait has one of the most vibrant and well established mobile sectors in the Middle East and the large operators are now moving towards offering more value-added services as well as technology and network upgrades. In the past year or so, Zain Kuwait has launched M2M services for corporate customers as well as VoLTE services. Zain Kuwait also recently conducted successful tests of 4.5G technology in conjunction with Huawei.

Qatar has increasingly become a progressive market for telecoms and is also a leader in the Middle East. In 2016 the country has a vast array of networks and services on offer including 4G, VoLTE, LTE-A, M2M and fibre-based technologies. It is also looking towards a future based on 5G.

Key developments:

Mobile broadband usage is growing in Bahrain – representing over 50% of total broadband usage today.

The mobile content and applications market in Israel has come under renewed focus given the increasing affordability and penetration of smartphones.

Mobile payments solutions are beginning to emerge in Lebanon and are being offered by banks and mobile operators alike.

The fingerprint law in Saudi Arabia has resulted in a drop in mobile broadband subscriptions.

Smart phones are becoming increasingly popular in the UAE, accounting for close to two thirds of the country’s mobile handsets.

There is ongoing Fixed-Mobile Conversion (FMC) taking place in Iran.

3G penetration is over 70% in Jordan.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in Oman has approved the Access and Interconnection (A&I) Regulation which aims to make market entry easier for new players in order to promote competition.

Despite the challenging environment in Syria, there are some glimpses of hope with both mobile operators reporting rising in revenue in 2015, with much of this attributed to growth in mobile data services.

Broadband subscriber growth in Yemen has received a boost in recent years following the launch of mobile broadband services. However fixed and mobile broadband services are far from affordable for much of the population.

While growth in the Iraqi telecoms sector is currently influenced by the serious civil unrest occurring in the country; it is expected that there will be opportunities for grow in both the mobile communication and mobile broadband markets in the future.

Viva, Zain and Ooredoo of Kuwait have all turned their attention towards LTE-A. The involvement of Huawei has been pivotal to the development of LTE-A in Kuwait.

Both VoLTE and LTE-A services have been launched in Qatar over the past twelve months or so.

In April 2016 4G LTE services were launched by Turkcell, Turk Telekom and Vodafone Turkey.



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1. Regional overview mobile broadband market

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Bahrain

1.3 Israel

1.4 Lebanon

1.5 Saudi Arabia

1.6 United Arab Emirates

1.7 Iran

1.8 Jordan

1.9 Oman

1.10 Syria

1.11 Yemen

1.12 Iraq

1.13 Kuwait

1.14 Qatar

1.15 Turkey

2. Bahrain

2.1 Market analysis

2.2 Mobile statistics

2.2.1 General statistics

2.3 Mobile voice

2.3.1 Prepaid

2.3.2 Mobile data

2.4 Mobile broadband statistics

2.5 Regulatory issues

2.5.1 Second mobile licence

2.5.2 Third mobile licence

2.5.3 Prepaid subscriber registration

2.5.4 Roaming tariff reduction

2.5.5 MNP

2.6 Mobile infrastructure

2.6.1 Brief intro analogue networks

2.6.2 Digital networks

2.6.3 5G

2.7 Mobile content and applications

2.7.1 m-commerce

2.7.2 m-banking (payments/loans)

2.7.3 m-TV

2.8 Mobile handsets

3. Iran

3.1 Market analysis

3.2 Mobile statistics

3.2.1 General statistics

3.2.2 Mobile voice

3.2.3 Mobile data

3.3 Mobile broadband statistics

3.4 Regulatory issues

3.4.1 Third Mobile licence Tamin Telecom

3.4.2 Second GSM licence Irancell

3.5 Mobile infrastructure

3.5.1 Digital networks

3.6 Other infrastructure developments

3.6.1 GPRS

3.7 Mobile content and applications

3.7.1 m-banking (payments/loans)

3.7.2 Apps

3.8 Mobile handsets

4. Iraq

4.1 Market analysis

4.1.1 Mobile statistics

4.2 Mobile subscriber forecasts

4.2.1 Scenario 1 higher growth

4.2.2 Scenario 2 lower growth

4.3 Mobile broadband statistics

4.4 Regulatory issues

4.4.1 Temporary mobile licences awarded in 2003

4.4.2 Permanent licences awarded in 2007

4.4.3 Fourth mobile licence

4.5 Mobile infrastructure

4.5.1 3G

4.5.2 LTE

4.5.3 Satellite mobile

4.6 Mobile data

4.6.1 Mobile Messaging

4.6.2 Mobile Internet access

4.7 Mobile content and applications

4.8 m-banking and m-payments

4.9 m-TV

4.10 Apps

5. Israel

5.1 Market analysis

5.1.1 Recent developments

5.2 Mobile statistics

5.2.1 General statistics

5.2.2 Mobile data

5.2.3 Mobile broadband statistics

5.3 Regulatory issues

5.3.1 Connection charges

5.3.2 Licensing

5.3.3 LTE Spectrum

5.3.4 Roaming

5.3.5 MTRs

5.3.6 Early termination fee reduction

5.3.7 MNP

5.3.8 Network sharing

5.4 Mobile infrastructure

5.4.1 Brief intro analogue networks

5.4.2 Digital networks

5.4.3 IoT and M2M networks

5.5 Mobile content and applications

5.5.1 m-commerce

5.5.2 m-advertising

5.5.3 m-TV

5.5.4 Apps

5.6 Mobile handsets

6. Jordan

6.1 Market analysis

6.2 Mobile statistics

6.2.1 General statistics

6.3 Mobile broadband statistics

6.4 Regulatory issues

6.4.1 Third GSM licence

6.4.2 3G licences

6.4.3 4G spectrum

6.4.4 SIM card registration

6.4.5 MTRs

6.5 Mobile infrastructure

6.5.1 Digital networks

6.5.2 Satellite mobile

6.6 IoT and M2M networks

6.7 Mobile content and applications

6.7.1 m-commerce

6.7.2 m-banking (payments/loans)

6.8 Mobile handsets

7. Kuwait

7.1 Market analysis

7.1.1 Mobile statistics

7.2 Mobile voice services

7.2.1 Prepaid

7.2.2 Satellite mobile

7.3 Mobile broadband statistics

7.4 Regulatory issues

7.4.1 Third mobile operator

7.4.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

7.4.3 Roaming tariff reduction

7.4.4 Spectrum refarming for LTE

7.5 Mobile infrastructure

7.5.1 Analogue networks

7.5.2 Digital networks

7.5.3 Other infrastructure developments

7.5.4 IoT and M2M networks

7.6 Mobile content and applications

7.6.1 SMS and MMS

7.6.2 OTT messaging services

7.6.3 m-TV

7.6.4 m-advertising

7.6.5 m-banking

8. Lebanon

8.1 Market analysis

8.2 Mobile statistics

8.2.1 General statistics

8.3 Mobile voice

8.3.1 Prepaid

8.3.2 Satellite mobile

8.3.3 Mobile VoIP

8.4 Mobile data

8.4.1 SMS and MMS

8.4.2 OTT messaging services

8.5 Mobile broadband statistics

8.6 Regulatory issues

8.6.1 Overview

8.6.2 Lebanon's current mobile contracts

8.6.3 Open international tender 2015

8.7 Mobile infrastructure

8.7.1 Digital networks

8.8 IoT and M2M networks

8.9 Mobile content and applications

8.9.1 m-commerce

8.9.2 m-banking (payments/loans)

8.9.3 m-TV

8.9.4 Apps

8.10 Mobile handsets

9. Oman

9.1 Mobile market analysis

9.2 Mobile statistics

9.2.1 General statistics

9.2.2 Mobile voice

9.2.3 Mobile data

9.3 Mobile broadband statistics

9.4 Regulatory issues

9.4.1 Second mobile licence

9.4.2 Third mobile licence

9.4.3 Reseller/MVNO licences

9.4.4 Roaming

9.4.5 MNP

9.5 Mobile infrastructure

9.5.1 Brief intro analogue networks

9.5.2 Digital networks

9.5.3 IoT and M2M networks

9.6 Mobile content and applications

9.6.1 m-commerce

9.6.2 m-banking (payments/loans)

9.6.3 m-TV

9.7 Mobile handsets

10. Qatar

10.1 Market analysis

10.2 Mobile statistics

10.2.1 General statistics

10.2.2 Mobile voice

10.2.3 Mobile data

10.3 Mobile broadband statistics

10.4 Regulatory issues

10.4.1 Second mobile licence

10.4.2 Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO)

10.4.3 Roaming tariff reduction

10.4.4 NP

10.5 Mobile infrastructure

10.5.1 Brief intro analogue networks

10.5.2 Digital networks

10.6 Mobile content and applications

10.6.1 m-commerce

10.6.2 m-banking (payments/loans)

10.6.3 m-TV

10.6.4 m-health

10.7 Mobile handsets

11. Saudi Arabia

11.1 Market analysis

11.2 Mobile statistics

11.2.1 General statistics

11.2.2 Mobile voice

11.2.3 Mobile data

11.3 Mobile broadband statistics

11.4 Regulatory issues

11.4.1 Award of second GSM mobile licence

11.4.2 iDEN contract awarded

11.4.3 Award of Third Generation (3G) licences

11.4.4 Award of third mobile licence

11.4.5 Roaming

11.4.6 MTRs

11.4.7 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)

11.4.8 Fingerprinting law

11.5 Mobile infrastructure

11.5.1 Brief intro analogue networks

11.5.2 Digital networks

11.6 IoT and M2M networks

11.7 Mobile content and applications

11.7.1 m-commerce

11.7.2 m-banking (payments/loans)

11.8 Mobile handsets

12. Syria

12.1 Market analysis

12.2 Mobile statistics

12.3 Mobile voice

12.3.1 Prepaid

12.4 Mobile data

12.4.1 SMS and MMS

12.5 Mobile broadband statistics

12.6 Regulatory issues

12.6.1 Third mobile licence

12.6.2 Current BOT contracts/Long term free hold licenses

12.7 Mobile infrastructure

12.7.1 GSM, 3G

12.7.2 Satellite mobile

12.8 Mobile content and applications

12.8.1 m-banking (payments/loans)

13. Turkey

13.1 Market analysis

13.1.1 Recent developments

13.2 Mobile statistics

13.2.1 Mobile voice

13.2.2 Mobile data

13.2.3 Mobile broadband statistics

13.3 Regulatory issues

13.3.1 Overview (recent general laws and regulations)

13.3.2 Third Generation (3G) licences

13.3.3 Third and fourth GSM licences

13.3.4 Significant market power (SMP)

13.3.5 MTRs

13.3.6 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

13.3.7 Telsim privatisation

13.4 Mobile infrastructure

13.4.1 Other infrastructure developments

13.4.2 IoT and M2M networks

13.5 Mobile content and applications

13.5.1 m-commerce

13.5.2 m-advertising

13.5.3 m-banking (payments/loans)

13.5.4 m-music

13.6 Mobile handsets

14. United Arab Emirates

14.1 Market analysis

14.2 Mobile statistics

14.2.1 General statistics

14.2.2 Mobile voice

14.2.3 Mobile data

14.2.4 Mobile broadband statistics

14.3 Regulatory issues

14.3.1 Roaming tariff reduction

14.3.2 MNP

14.4 Mobile infrastructure

14.4.1 Brief intro analogue networks

14.4.2 Digital networks

14.4.3 IoT and M2M networks

14.5 Mobile content and applications

14.5.1 Etisalat

14.5.2 du

14.5.3 m-commerce

14.5.4 m-banking (payments/loans)

14.5.5 m-TV

14.6 Mobile handsets

15. Yemen

15.1 Market analysis

15.2 Mobile statistics

15.3 Mobile data

15.3.1 SMS and MMS

15.3.2 OTT messaging services

15.4 Mobile broadband statistics

15.5 Regulatory issues

15.5.1 GSM licences awarded

15.5.2 Third GSM licence

15.6 Mobile infrastructure

15.7 Mobile handsets

Table 1 Middle East mobile broadband subscribers and penetration by country estimates-2016

Table 2 Bahrain-Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-1995-2004

Table 3 Bahrain-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-2005-2016

Table 4 Bahrain-Mobile market revenue 2007-2014

Table 5 Bahrain-Mobile monthly ARPU 2008-2014

Table 6 Bahrain total prepaid mobile subscribers-1999 Q1 2015

Table 7 Zain Bahrain prepaid subscribers-2004-2014

Table 8 Bahrain-SMS message sent 2008-2013

Table 9 Bahrain-Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2012-2016

Table 10 Bahrain-Accepted cumulative mobile number portability requests 2011-2015

Table 11 Iran-Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-1995-2004

Table 12 Iran-Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005-2016

Table 13 Iran-Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2012-2016

Table 14 MTN Irancell data revenue as percentage of total revenue 2009 2015

Table 15 Iraq-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2002-2016

Table 16 Iraq-Mobile operator market shares 2004 2015

Table 17 Iraq-Forecast mobile subscribers higher growth scenario 2020; 2025

Table 18 Iraq-Forecast mobile subscribers lower growth scenario 2020; 2025

Table 19 Iraq-Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2014; 2015

Table 20 Iraq-Zain total daily data volume 2010-2014

Table 21 Israel-Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-1995-2004

Table 22 Israel-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005-2016

Table 23 Israel-Mobile operators' market share 2010-2015

Table 24 Israel-Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2010-2016

Table 25 Israel-Smart phone market share by manufacturer 2013; 2014

Table 26 Jordan-Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-1995-2004

Table 27 Jordan-Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005 2016

Table 28 Jordan-Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change 2015

Table 29 Jordan-Major mobile operators' market share 2004 2015

Table 30 Jordan-Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2010 2015

Table 31 Jordan-Mobile Termination Rates 2010-2014

Table 32 Kuwait-Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-1995-2004

Table 33 Kuwait-Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005-2016

Table 34 Kuwait-Mobile operators' market share 2005-2015

Table 35 Kuwait-Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change 2015

Table 36 Kuwait-Zain and Ooredoo prepaid share 2005-2015

Table 37 Kuwait-active mobile broadband subscriptions 2013 2016

Table 38 Kuwait-Zain Total daily data volume 2010-2014

Table 39 Lebanon-Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-1995-2004

Table 40 Lebanon-Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005-2016

Table 41 Lebanon-Mobile operators' market share 2004 1H 2015

Table 42 Lebanon-Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2011-2016

Table 43 Oman-Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-1995-2004

Table 44 Oman-Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005 2016

Table 45 Oman-Mobile sector total ARPU 2005 2015

Table 46 Oman-Total prepaid and postpaid subscribers 2005-2015

Table 47 Oman Mobile and Ooredoo prepaid share 2007-2014

Table 48 Oman-SMS messages sent 2006-2014

Table 49 Oman-MMS messages sent 2010-2015

Table 50 Oman-Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2008-2016

Table 51 Qatar-Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-1995-2004

Table 52 Qatar-Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005-2016

Table 53 Qatar-Mobile operators' market share 2009-2015

Table 54 Qatar-Ooredoo and Vodafone prepaid share 2000-2014

Table 55 Qatar-Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2008-2016

Table 56-Saudi Arabia-Mobile subscribers and penetration 2007 Q3 2016

Table 57 Saudi Arabia-Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change 2014

Table 58 Saudi Arabia-Major mobile operators' subscribers and market shares 2005-2014

Table 59 Saudi Arabia prepaid subscribers 2002-2014

Table 60 Saudi Arabia-Zain prepaid subscribers 2008-2014

Table 61 Saudi Arabia-Mobile broadband subscriptions technologies and penetration 2010 Q3 2016

Table 62 Syria-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1999-2015

Table 63 Syria-Active Mobile Broadband Subscriptions 2009-2015

Table 64 Turkey-Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-1995-2004

Table 65 Turkey-Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005 2016

Table 66 Turkey-2G and 3G subscribers 2009 Q1 2016

Table 67 Turkey-Breakdown of mobile revenue 2008 Q1 2016

Table 68 Turkey-Mobile operators and subscribers 2015

Table 69 Turkey-Mobile subscribers by operator 2007 Q1 2016

Table 70 Turkey-Mobile operators' market share 2007 Q1 2016

Table 71 Turkey-Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers 2000 Q1 2016

Table 72 Turkey-Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2008 Q1 2016

Table 73 UAE-Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005 Q3 2016

Table 74 UAE mobile operators' market share 2010-2014

Table 75 UAE mobile revenue and ARPU 2008-2014

Table 76 UAE prepaid vs postpaid revenue 2008-2014

Table 77 UAE prepaid subscribers 2005 Q3 2016

Table 78 UAE SMS and MMS sent 2007-2014

Table 79 UAE mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2010-2015

Table 80 UAE handset manufacturers' market share 2013-2015

Table 81 Yemen-Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-1995-2004

Table 82 Yemen-Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005-2015

Table 83 Yemen-Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2011-2015

Chart 1 Jordan-Mobile operators' market share at a glance-2015

Chart 2 Kuwait-Mobile operators' market share 2009-2015

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