Kuwait’s Internet penetration to reach 16.5 percent by 2006
Kuwait’s Internet accounts penetration rate will grow from 7.59 percent in 2001 to 16.5 percent in 2006, insuring it an enviable position amongst Arab countries. Nine percent of accounts will be broadband enabled by 2006, up from only one percent in 2001, according to an Arab Advisors Group report.
The Kuwaiti Internet access market is somewhat liberalized. Currently, there is one operational main ISP (Internet Service Provider) in Kuwait—Qualitynet—while the newly established Fasttelco is expected to launch its services in May 2002. In addition, there are around some 15 smaller service providers—sub ISPs, like Globalnet Center, Gulfweb, DanaNet, Alphanet, and others—which provide Internet services to individual subscribers and end users and rely on the main ISPs for their connectivity.
“Internet access rates in Kuwait are quite high by regional standards, when compared with those in Jordan and Lebanon, for example.” Sami Sunna’, Arab Advisors Group analyst wrote in the report. “The Arab Advisors Group believes that once Internet dialup rates drop below the average current charge of 20 Kuwaiti dinars ($65) per month for unlimited dialup, the number of Internet subscribers will significantly grow in Kuwait,” he added.
Moreover, The Kuwaiti Ministry of Communications’ anticipated introduction of tariff rebalancing for fixed line services, i.e. lowering international call rates and charging for local and national call rates, will also provide heavy Internet users with an incentive to switch from their dialup accounts to the broadband always-on ADSL service. “As dialup costs will increase, broadband will carry not just better speeds but lower costs for heavy dialup users”, Sunna’ explained. “We therefore, project broadband DSL accounts to make up nine percent of total Internet accounts by 2006, up from a little more than one percent in 2001”.
The report found that while the Internet access market is in good shape in Kuwait, “E-commerce is still under-developed and many consumers still prefer the traditional way of shopping. E-commerce in Kuwait has not made any significant progress over the past years, and traditional patterns of retailing, wholesaling and government services still persist.” On the Internet access side, the projected 395,000 Internet accounts in Kuwait in 2006 are expected to generate more than $197 million in revenues that year. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)