Arab world’s GSM markets: the biggest and the best
Morocco, Egypt and Saudi are the largest Arab GSM markets by numbers of subscribers. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Bahrain are the most developed with the highest penetration rates. Syria was a rising star in 2001 in terms of percentage growth, concludes a newly released report from the Arab Advisors Group.
According to the group’s projections, the relative situation at the top spots will remain the same by the end of this year. Morocco, Egypt and Saudi will remain the biggest markets by size (Saudi will have a lot more prepaid users). The UAE and Kuwait will be the most developed penetration wise and Syria will experience the biggest percent growth as well.
The total number of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) subscribers in 10 examined Arab countries exceeded 16.5 million by yearend 2001. By subscribers numbers size, Morocco was the largest, followed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Bahrain and Syria.
“These small rich markets of the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait, with profit oriented monopoly operators (in the case of UAE and Bahrain) had the highest country penetration rates with 58 percent, 42 percent and 42 percent respectively as of yearend 2001,” Arab Advisors Group’s analysts noted.
The report has showed that Syria is a market that is well below its true potential but one that is seeing high growth. The country had the highest year on year growth rate of all Arab markets—largely due to the very small subscriber base in 2000—and that was due to the drop in connection fees, which were initially very high.
Also Oman entered a high growth rate period in 2001 upon the introduction of prepaid services, increasing mobile subscribers from 156,000 in 2000 to 336,000 by yearend 2001. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)