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The Mobile services in the Middle East and North Africa: trends and forecasts 2017–2022 based on 2Q 2017 data

The revenue from traditional mobile services in the Middle East and North Africa will continue to decline due to the increasing use of OTT services. We expect that the revenue from voice services will decline further in line with the improving LTE coverage and increasing VoLTE availability. This report examines these trends and drivers, and provides comprehensive mobile market forecasts for the region and for six individual countries.


Executive summary
The telecoms service market in MENA will grow to USD72.1 billion in 2022, amidst increased competition and challenging operating conditions
Worldwide trends
Worldwide: mobile service revenue will continue to grow throughout the forecast period
Regional trends
The total retail revenue will increase slightly as mobile data growth offsets declining revenue from voice and messaging
Mobile: LTE take-up is accelerating in several markets; this is contributing to traffic growth, but also slowing down ARPU drop
Mobile: maturing markets and enforced SIM registration policies have led to a subscriber base contraction in some countries
Mobile: growth in demand for data services and migration to postpaid connections will help to reduce the rate of decline of ARPU
Mobile: data revenue will help to offset the slowdown in legacy services growth revenue and the plateauing of mobile penetration
Country-level trends
Iran: 4G services and the entry of MVNOs will underpin growth
Kuwait: mobile market growth will be hampered by market saturation
Oman: OTT substitution will continue to erode revenue for legacy services while driving rapid growth in data
Qatar: the market retains its potential for growth thanks to its strong economy which appears resilient to continued sanctions
Saudi Arabia: growing demand for data combined with improved coverage will partly offset the declining subscriber base
UAE: a strong economy will continue to drive growth in the mobile market despite diminishing returns from data services

List of figures:
Figure 1: Telecoms retail revenue by service type and total service revenue, Middle East and North Africa, 2012–2022
Figure 2: Mobile service revenue by location, Middle East and North Africa and worldwide, 2012–2022
Figure 3: Telecoms retail revenue by mobile service type, and mobile ARPU, Middle East and North Africa, 2012–2022
Figure 4: Telecoms retail revenue and growth rates by mobile service type, Middle East and North Africa, 2016–2022
Figure 5: Connections and growth rates by type, Middle East and North Africa, 2016–2022
Figure 6: Mobile connections by generation, Middle East and North Africa (million), 2012–2022
Figure 7: Mobile ARPU by type, Middle East and North Africa (USD per month), 2012–2022
Figure 8: Contract share of mobile connections (excluding IoT), Middle East and North Africa, 2012–2022
Figure 9: Mobile data traffic per connection, Middle East and North Africa (MB per month), 2012–2022
Figure 10: Mobile penetration by country, Middle East and North Africa, 2012–2022
Figure 11: Mobile ARPU by country, Middle East and North Africa, 2012–2022
Figure 12: Mobile ARPU, Iran (IRR thousand per month), 2012–2022
Figure 13: Mobile connections by type, Iran (million), 2012–2022
Figure 14: Mobile ARPU, Kuwait (KWD per month), 2012–2022
Figure 15: Mobile connections by type, Kuwait (million), 2012–2022
Figure 16: Mobile ARPU, Oman (OMR per month), 2012–2022
Figure 17: Mobile connections by type, Oman (million), 2012–2022
Figure 18: Mobile ARPU, Qatar (QAR per month), 2012–2022
Figure 19: Mobile connections by type, Qatar (million), 2012–2022
Figure 20: Mobile ARPU, Saudi Arabia (SAR per month), 2012–2022
Figure 21: Mobile connections by type, Saudi Arabia (million), 2012–2022
Figure 22: Mobile ARPU, UAE (AED per month), 2012–2022
Figure 23: Mobile connections by type, UAE (million), 2012–2022


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