New study: 20 percent growth in mobile subscribers in the Middle East region

Published April 29th, 2010 - 08:43 GMT

A new research on mobile usage in the Middle East by Dr. Gil Feiler, author of Rethinking Business Strategy for the EIU, reveals a growth of 20 percent in mobile subscribers in the Middle East region from 220 million by the end of April 2009 to 275 million subscribers by the end of April 2010. Dr. Feiler noted that the growth rate of internet usage is higher than the mobile usage, nevertheless only 65 million people use the internet in the Middle East, out of total population of 330 million.

Egypt with population of about 80 million attracted the largest usage of mobile services, equally shared between the two GSM operators Mobinil (52 percent) and Vodafone Egypt (48 percent) with a relatively small penetration rate of 78 percent. According to Feiler's research, in some countries, mainly in the GCC, a considerable part of revenues of the mobile operators are due to roaming. For example, the roaming revenues of the leading operator in Qatar, Vodafone Qatar, constituted 48 percent of its total revenues. The Saudi Arabia market, according to Dr. Feiler, is the leading in the region in terms of business opportunities growth. In some GCC countries, the penetration rate is close to 200 percent, while outside the GCC the highest penetration rate is in Libya, with 129 percent, according to Dr. Feiler.

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