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Kuwait - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


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Like the other countries in the Gulf Region, Kuwait is one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East due to its abundance of natural resources such as oil. Kuwait's government is heavily involved in the economy, largely due to its control of the oil industry. A similar situation exists in the telecom sector due to the lack of market liberalisation. Not only does Kuwait not have an independent regulator, the Ministry of Communications (MOC) is both the regulatory entity and also the operating entity for fixed-line services.

During June 2013 a draft law was passed to establish a telecoms regulator. Market competitors have long called for the establishment of separate regulatory authority to ensure fair competition.

Internet services are available throughout the country, with four major ISPs competing with each other. Underinvestment in infrastructure has hindered market development, with maximum speeds of 8Mb/s available on the government owned fixed line copper network. Alternative access network platforms such as FttH, WiMAX and mobile have been deployed, with the latter gaining much traction in the market given the market presence and abilities of the mobile network operators.

Recognising the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economic development, Kuwait has taken steps to develop a digital economy; national level policies for e-health and e-government have been developed, with a number of services available online.

Kuwait possesses a competitive mobile market as evident by current penetration levels. Services are offered by Zain, Wataniya and Viva. Penetration levels rose significantly after Viva entered the market. The introduction of Mobile Number Portability in June 2013 will further improve competition.

LTE services have been launched and are being used to underpin mobile broadband offerings. Mobile operators are well positioned to profit from mobile broadband, given the superior advertised download speeds offered relative to fixed broadband ISPs, the sizeable potential broadband subscriber market, existing brand recognition, distribution channels and customer base.

Key telecom parameters 2012; 2014
Sector | 2012 | 2014
Subscribers to telecoms services (million):
Fixed Broadband | 0.047 | 0.048
Fixed-line telephony | 0.51 | 0.50
Mobile phone | 5.5 | 6.4
(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies covered in this report include:

Ministry of Communications, Hits Telecom, Qualitynet, Zajil KEMS, Fast Telecommunications Company (FASTtelco), United Networks, Orbit Showtime Network (OSN), Mobile Telecommunications Co (MTC) / Zain, National Mobile Telecommunication Co (NMT) / Wataniya Telecom, Kuwait Telecom Company (KTC) / Viva.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Jordan's telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors.

Subjects include:

Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Infrastructure;
Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU
Internet, IPTV;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Kuwait's telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 Privatisation
5. Telecom operators in Kuwait
5.1 Ministry of Communications
5.2 Hits Telecom
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Submarine cable networks
6.2.2 Satellite networks
7. Broadband access market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Broadband and Internet statistics
7.2 ISP market
7.2.1 Overview
7.2.2 Qualitynet
7.2.3 Zajil /KEMS
7.2.4 Fast Telecommunications Company
7.2.5 United Networks
7.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
7.4 Fibre to the Home (FttH)
7.5 Wireless broadband
7.5.1 WiMAX
8. Digital economy/digital media
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 E-government
8.1.2 E-health
9. Digital broadcasting
9.1 Overview of broadcasting market
9.2 Broadband TV (IPTV)
9.3 Orbit Showtime Network (OSN)
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Kuwait's mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Third mobile operator
10.2.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
10.2.3 Roaming tariff reduction
10.2.4 Spectrum refarming for LTE
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 Analogue
10.3.2 2G / GSM
10.3.3 3G / HSPA
10.3.4 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE)
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 Mobile Telecommunications Co (MTC) / Zain
10.4.2 National Mobile Telecommunication Co (NMT)/Wataniya Telecom
10.4.3 Kuwait Telecom Company (KTC)/Viva
10.5 Mobile voice services
10.5.1 Prepaid
10.5.2 Satellite mobile
10.6 Mobile data
10.6.1 Mobile messaging
10.6.2 Mobile broadband
10.7 Mobile content and applications
10.7.1 Zain
10.7.2 Wataniya
10.7.3 Viva
10.7.4 Mobile TV
11. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Kuwait 2013
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2013
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2013
Table 4 Fixed broadband statistics 2013
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2013
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 GDP growth and inflation 2005 - 2014
Table 8 Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2014
Table 9 Internet users and penetration 1995 - 2014
Table 10 Fixed Broadband subscribers - 2001 - 2014
Table 11 Household PC penetration 2002 - 2014
Table 12 Wataniya Kuwait wireless broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2013
Table 13 Mobile subscribers and penetration rates 1994 - 2014
Table 14 Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change June 2013
Table 15 Mobile operators' subscribers and market share 2005 - 2013
Table 16 Zain Group subscribers, revenue and profit 2002 - 2013
Table 17 Zain Kuwait revenue, income, ARPU and active customers 2005 - 2013
Table 18 Wataniya Group subscribers, revenue and profit 2005 - 2013
Table 19 Wataniya Kuwait financial data 2006 - 2013
Table 20 Wataniya Kuwait subscribers - 2006 - 2013
Table 21 Wataniya Kuwait quarterly ARPU 2010 - 2013
Table 22 Zain pre and postpaid subscribers 2005 - 2013
Table 23 Wataniya pre and postpaid subscribers 2005 - 2013
Table 24 Zain's consumer market mobile broadband offerings August 2013
Table 25 Zain Total daily data volume 2010 - 2012
Table 26 Viva's consumer market mobile broadband offerings August 2013
Chart 1 Kuwait fixed-line and mobile subscribers 2000 2014

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