Mobile phone penetration has accelerated further in the Arab world following a growth rate of 9.92 percent at the end of June 2003, compared to the increase in fixed lines of just 3.57 percent.
According to a new market study, mobile phone subscriptions in 18 Arab countries stood at 29.43 million at the end of June 2003, whereas landline subscriptions stood at 24.8 million. In sharp contrast, the number of Internet users in the 18 Arab countries researched in the survey stood at just 10.24 million, according to Madar Research .
”The rapid penetration of mobile phones does not come as a surprise to market insiders,” said Founder and CEO of mobile information service provider Info2cell, Bashar Dahabra. “The advantages and benefits of a mobile phone nowadays are many, including reduced subscription costs and lower priced handsets and accessories.”
According to the study, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has 2.65 million mobile phone subscribers, against 1.11 million fixed line subscribers, for a population of 3.7 million. Bahrain has 400,000 mobile phone subscribers, against 178,000 landlines, with a population of 728,000. Kuwait has 1.5 million mobile subscribers, against 485,000 landlines. Saudi Arabia has six million mobile phone users, against 3.43 million fixed lines, with a population of 23.89 million.
In sharp contrast, some of the less developed Arab countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Sudan, Iraq and Libya, have more landlines than mobile phones.
The 18 Arab countries covered in the survey are the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Oman, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Iraq and Sudan. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )