Kuwait's GSM market leads the Arab World in relatively low cost rates, according to new research by Arab Advisors Group . The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain are close contenders with Oman and Saudi Arabia coming behind.
The research covers 22 mobile operators in fourteen different Arab countries. The Arab Advisors Group conducted a full analysis of cellular rates relative to the wealth of the country. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE were revealed to have low cost cellular rates, relative to the examined countries gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, and Tunisia still have high cost cellular rates, relative to the examined countries GDP per capita.
Jordan and Palestine's rates are fair relative to their GDP per capita. Moreover, the Arab Advisors Group conducted a further analysis of the regional trend line of the cellular rates, and found that many countries still have room for lower rates, while other countries rates are absolutely, not just relatively, low.
The countries covered in this report are Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and UAE. The report fully compares the prevailing cellular service rates across the markets and ranks them accordingly.
“The report reveals what we refer to as the ‘poor man's dilemma’,” said Arab Advisors Group Senior Research Analyst, Sami Sunna'. “Quite a few poorer Arab markets have substantially higher rates than much wealthier markets like the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait. Granted, the operators in the Gulf markets have achieved massive economies of scale to draw on. Still lower rates will drive usage and economies of scale in the poorer markets.” Sunna' added.
On the postpaid average minute rates front, the research shows that Morocco and Tunisia have the highest postpaid minute rates, followed by Oman, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Syria, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, and ending with the lowest average minute rate in the UAE. The adoption of per-fractions of the minute billing by some operators, such as Jawwal in Palestine, lowers the actual cost of usage by the subscribers.
“The rankings change a bit for prepaid minutes cost: Lebanon has the highest rate, followed by Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Qatar, Oman, Tunisia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and ending with the lowest average minute rate in the UAE,” Sunna' added.
The report fully analyses the connection rates, minute rates, SMS and MMS rates, validity periods for prepaid cards and the presence of handset subsidies. The report also factors in the presence of per-fractions of the minute billing in any of the markets in a separate section to address the effect of this more equitable method of billing. — (menareport.com)
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