Report: competition dynamics in Kuwait's GSM market a healthy model for Gulf region
Kuwait's MTC-Vodafone maintained its postpaid edge in 2003, while Wataniya remains a predominantly prepaid service provider. With the Kuwaiti market approaching saturation, the two operators have expanded their operations outside Kuwait, establishing themselves as strong regional operators, according to a recent report by Arab Advisors Group.
MTC reversed the 2002 results in 2003 and grabbed 57 percent of total market additions in 2003. This has moved its market share from 53 percent in 2002 to 54 percent in 2003.
There are 1.7 million mobile subscribers in Kuwait translating into a penetration rate of 74 percent. The high penetration is the healthy result of the duopoly competition between Kuwait’s two mobile operators, MTC-Vodafone and Wataniya Telecom.
As the competition for market dominance in Kuwait continues, and with the cellular market nearing saturation, the operators have been scrambling to achieve the technological edge to win over customers. Kuwaiti mobile users already enjoy services such as online bill payment, GPRS services that offer downloads of music and games, and MMS services.
“Kuwait remains a predominantly prepaid market, with prepaid subscribers constituting almost 80 percent of cellular users," Arab Advisors Group’s research analyst Yaman Al-Jundi wrote in the report. "Wataniya holds the edge in the prepaid market, with a 53 percent market share. MTC-Vodafone holds a dominant 81 percent of the postpaid market share.”
“The mobile market grew by 30 percent in 2003," Al-Jundi added. "MTC-Vodafone lost postpaid subscribers for the third straight year, recording a four percent drop in 2003. Wataniya recorded an impressive 90 percent growth in postpaid subscribers, but its overall postpaid subscriber base stands at only a quarter of MTC-Vodafone’s postpaid subscribers base.”
The Arab Advisors Group believes the Kuwaiti mobile market to be the model for healthy competition in the Gulf region. The cellular penetration in Kuwait jumped from 28 percent in 2000 to reach an impressive 74 percent in 2003. The result of the competition has been a race to offer improved value-added services and technologies, which ultimately will benefit the individual mobile user, as well as the operators themselves, since these services will surely enhance revenues and profits. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)