Report: Small Arab countries lead the way in ICT connectivity
Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) still lead the Arab countries in the total connectivity measure in 2003, as they did in 2002. Paradoxically, two of these countries are monopoly markets, while Bahrain’s cellular market moved to duopoly in 2003, according to a new report by Arab Advisors Group.
All 13 covered countries -except Oman, Lebanon and Morocco- improved their Total Country Connectivity Measure (TCCM) score between 2002 and 2003. In Oman, Morocco and Lebanon, the drop in fixed phone lines negatively affected the household penetration measure that pulled down the 2003 TCCM score from their 2002 levels.
The group calculates the TCCM by adding the household mainlines penetration, GSM penetration, and Internet users penetration rates in each country. The household mainlines penetration is measured by dividing the residential mainlines by the number of households in each country. The TCCM shows the extent of connectivity of individuals in a certain country whether via fixed lines, GSM lines and/or Internet.
There is an overlap in the TCCM since many individuals use fixed lines, GSM lines and/or Internet technologies at the same time. However, according to the group the measure still yields an accurate and informative picture on the level of ICT services penetration in each country. For example, if a country has a TCCM measure of 60 percent, this means that at least 40 percent of the population are not users of any of the three services constituting the measure. While a TCCM score of more than 100 percent is very positive, it nonetheless, does not mean that all the population uses the services due to overlap of usage.
“The TCCM for 2003 results revealed that Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and UAE lead the Arab countries in terms of total connectivity followed by Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, and Oman. Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Algeria, and Morocco scored the lowest on the total connectivity measure,” Arab Advisors Group’s research manager, Sami Sunna wrote in the report.
“Compared to the TCCM score in 2002, five countries moved up the ladder (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria), four countries moved down the ladder (Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria and Morocco), while the four remaining countries maintained their rankings as in the 2002 results (Qatar, UAE, Jordan and Oman)”. Sunna added.
The changes in the rankings should not distract from the fact that all countries -except Oman, Lebanon and Morocco- improved their TCCM score between 2002 and 2003. In Oman, Morocco and Lebanon, the drop in fixed phone lines negatively affected the household penetration measure that pulled down the 2003 TCCM score from their 2002 levels. The stagnation of the Lebanese cellular market also had an effect in Lebanon’s total score. Lebanon’s TCCM score fell from 107 percent in 2002 to 98 percent in 2003.
The Arab Advisors Group believes that the Total Country Connectivity Measure (TCCM) defines the overall connectivity in the country. This is explained by the fact that increasing the household mainlines penetration would eventually improve the Internet penetration rates in a country leading to more healthy connectivity levels. Of course, counting in the mobile connectivity actually complements the total connectivity situation. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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