Middle East - Mobile Infrastructure and Mobile Broadband

Middle East - Mobile Infrastructure and Mobile Broadband

Mobile infrastructure in the Middle East has by far the highest population coverage compared to fixed broadband and the region is highly dependent on mobile services. In times of crisis, the ability to remain connected becomes even more essential to society and the economy in general.
This reliance on telecommunications infrastructure and services has been highlighted throughout the world during the COVID-19 outbreak, including in the Middle East where many countries have required citizens to shelter-at-home. This has placed increased demand on telecoms infrastructure with people working and studying remotely. The operators have experienced a surge in demand for bandwidth and this, in turn, has led to a renewed push to either upgrade 4G networks or fast-track 5G developments.
In order to roll-out new networks efficiently and in a cost effective manner, BuddeComm observes that many operators in the Middle East are beginning to utilise the benefits of infrastructure sharing. Mobile tower sharing, for example, has become a viable strategy in countries like Saudi Arabia and Oman.
This BuddeComm report provides valuable information, analyses, statistics and insights into the mobile infrastructure in markets of the Middle East, including the countries of Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Recent developments:

Investing in 4G LTE networks is a key area of focus in the Middle East.
Many existing 4G networks are being upgraded in both preparation for 5G and to also meet the demands created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By 2025 the market share of connections to smart phones will reach almost 75% across the larger MENA region, according to the GSMA.

Companies mentioned in this report include:

Mobile Telecommunications Co (MTC) / Zain, Ooredoo Kuwait (previously National Mobile Telecommunication Co (NMT) / Wataniya Telecom), Kuwait Telecom Company (KTC) / Viva, Batelco, Zain Bahrain, Viva Bahrain, Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), Mobile Communications Iran (MCI), MTN Irancell, Tamin Telecom (Rightel), Mobile Telecommunications Company of Isfahan (MTCE), Telecommunication Kish Company (TKC), Iraqi Telephone and Postal Company (ITPC), Asiacell, Zain Iraq, Korek Telecom, Regional Telecom, Cellcom, Orange (Partner), Pelephone (Bezeq), HOT Mobile, Golan Telecom, Rami Levy, Jordan Telecom Group/Orange, Zain Jordan, Batelco/Umniah, Saudi Telecom Company (STC)/Bravo, Integrated Telecom Company (ITC)/Bayn Consortium, GO Telecom/Etihad Atheeb, Mobily/Ettihad Etisalat/Bayanat Al-Oula, Zain KSA, Lebara KSA/Etihad Jawraa, Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (Virgin Mobile MEA), Axiom Telecom, VIVA, Etisalat, du, Jordan Telecom Group/Orange, Zain Jordan, Batelco/Umniah, MTC Touch, Alfa Telecom, Ooredoo Qatar, Vodafone Qatar, OmanTel, Ooredoo Oman, FRiENDi, Majan Telecom (Renna), Samatel, Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE), MTN Syria, Syriatel, Turkcell, Vodafone Turkey, Avea.


  • Executive Summary
  • Impact of COVID-19
  • Regional market comparison
    • INTRODUCTION
    • INFRASTRUCTURE SHARING
    • MOBILE BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE COVERAGE
      • Table Middle East – 3G and 4G - mobile infrastructure and population coverage – 2014 - 2018
    • MOBILE AND MOBILE BROADBAND PENETRATION
    • MOBILE SUBSCRIBER STATISTICS
      • Table Middle East - mobile subscriptions and annual growth – 2014 - 2020
      • Table Middle East - mobile subscriptions by country – 2014 - 2020
      • Smart phone connections
  • Countries leading 5G developments
    • UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
    • QATAR
    • SAUDI ARABIA
  • Bahrain
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Bahrain – current operators and services - 2019
      • Table Bahrain - telecom sector revenue – 2006 – 2018
      • Table Bahrain - telecom sector revenue breakdown – 2013 – 2018
      • Table Bahrain - mobile sector ARPU – 2013 – 2018
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Regulatory authority
      • Overview
      • Telecom sector liberalisation in Bahrain
      • Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) licences
      • Interconnect
      • Access
      • Number portability
        • Table Bahrain - mobile number accepted portability requests – 2017 – Q1 2019
      • Privatisation
      • Wholesaling
      • Mobile network developments
      • Subscriber registration
      • Roaming tariff reduction
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
      • OTT providers
      • Spectrum developments
    • MOBILE MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Bahrain - mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2009 – 2024
      • Mobile voice
        • Table Bahrain - total prepaid mobile subscribers - 2009 – Q1 2019
        • Table Bahrain - retail mobile market revenue – 2012 – 2018
        • Table Bahrain - mobile ARPS – 2012 – 2018
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Bahrain - mobile subscribers with active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2010 – 2024
      • Mobile infrastructure
    • MOBILE HANDSETS
  • Iran
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Background to alleged sanction violations
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historic overview
      • Sixth five year plan 2016 -2021
      • Regulatory authority
      • Mobile network developments
    • MOBILE MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Iran - mobile subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2020
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Iran - mobile broadband subscriptions and penetration – 2013 – 2020
      • Mobile infrastructure
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • M-banking and m-payments
    • MOBILE HANDSETS
  • Iraq
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historic overview
      • Recent developments
      • Regulatory authority
      • Mobile regulatory issues
    • HISTORICAL MOBILE OVERVIEW
      • Mobile market analysis
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Iraq - mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2009 – 2019
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Iraq - active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2014 – 2019
      • Mobile infrastructure
  • Israel
    • OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historic overview
      • Regulatory authority
      • Mobile network developments
    • MOBILE MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Israel - major mobile operators' monthly mobile ARPU – 2013 – 2020
      • Merger activity 2019/2020
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Israel - mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2009 – 2024
        • Table Israel - major mobile operators' market share by subscribers – 2010 – 2017
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Israel - active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2009 – 2024
        • Table 4G LTE adoption- 2016; 1H 2018
      • Mobile infrastructure
      • Mobile handsets
  • Jordan
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historic overview
      • Regulatory authority
      • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • Privatisation
      • Interconnect
      • Access
      • Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
      • Taxes
      • Mobile regulatory issues
    • MOBILE MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Jordan - mobile subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2024
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Jordan - active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2010 – 2024
      • Mobile infrastructure
      • Mobile handsets
  • Kuwait
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
    • COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT
      • Table Kuwait – mobile operator market share – 2018; 2019
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historic overview
      • Regulatory authority
      • Privatisation
      • Infrastructure sharing
      • Interconnect
      • Mobile regulatory issues
    • MOBILE MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Kuwait - mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
        • Table Kuwait - mobile operators' market share – 2005 – 2018
        • Table Kuwait - mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – 2018
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Kuwait - mobile broadband subscriptions – 2014 – 2024
      • Mobile infrastructure
        • Table Kuwait – population coverage of mobile technologies – 2016 - 2018
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • m-banking (payments/loans)
      • OTT messaging services
    • MOBILE HANDSETS
  • Lebanon
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Background
      • Regulatory authority
      • Telecom sector liberalisation in Lebanon
      • Privatisation
      • Mobile regulatory issues
    • MOBILE MARKET OVERVIEW
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Lebanon - mobile subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2020
        • Table Lebanon - mobile operators' market share – 2009 – 2019
      • Mobile data
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Lebanon - active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2011 – 2020
      • Mobile infrastructure
    • MOBILE HANDSETS
  • Oman
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Growth of M2M mobile subscriptions – 2018 – Q1 2019
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historic overview
      • Revision of the telecommunication regulatory law – 2011-2015
      • Regulatory authority
      • Telecom sector liberalisation in Oman
      • Privatisation
      • Interconnect
      • Access
      • Universal Service Obligation (USO)
      • Royalty fees
      • Competition issues
      • Market competitiveness report
      • Mobile regulatory issues
    • MOBILE MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Oman - mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
        • Table Oman - mobile sector total ARPU – 2009 – Q1 2019
        • Table Oman - operators mobile market share by subscribers – 2012 – Q1 2019
        • Table Oman – total prepaid and post-paid subscribers – 2009 – 1H 2019
        • Table Oman – SMS messages – 2010 – Q1 2019
        • Table Oman – MMS messages – 2010 – Q1 2019
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2009 – 2024
      • Mobile infrastructure
    • MOBILE HANDSETS
  • Qatar
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Qatar – telecoms revenue – 2014 – 2018
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historic overview
      • Regulatory authority
      • Telecom sector liberalisation in Qatar
      • Privatisation
      • Interconnect
      • Access
      • Wholesale transmission
      • Mobile regulatory issues
    • MOBILE MARKET OVERVIEW
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Qatar - mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
        • Table Qatar – Major mobile operators' market share – 2009 – 2018
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Qatar - Active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2009 – 2024
      • Mobile infrastructure
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • M-commerce
    • MOBILE HANDSETS
  • Saudi Arabia
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Universal Licenses
        • Table Saudi Arabia – mobile, fixed-line and total telecoms revenue of service providers – 2010 – 2016
      • Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historic overview
      • Regulatory authority
      • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • Fixed-line developments
      • Mobile network developments
    • MOBILE MARKET OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Saudi Arabia - mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
        • Table Saudi Arabia - major mobile operators' market share – 2005 – 2018
        • Table Saudi Arabia – prepaid subscribers – 2002 – Q3 2018
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Saudi Arabia – active mobile broadband subscriptions and penetration – 2010 – 2024
      • Mobile infrastructure
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • M-banking and m-payments
  • Syria
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Middle East – 3G and 4G - mobile infrastructure and population coverage – 2014 - 2018
    • MARKET CHALLENGES
    • EMERGENCY TELECOMMUNICATIONS CLUSTER (ETC)
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historic overview
      • Regulatory authority
      • Fixed-line developments
      • Mobile network developments
    • MOBILE MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Historical overview
      • Recent developments
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Syria - mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2020
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Syria - mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2018
      • Mobile infrastructure
  • Turkey
    • MARKET HISTORY
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historic overview
      • Regulatory authority
      • Telecom sector liberalisation in Turkey
      • Privatisation
      • Fixed-line developments
      • Mobile network developments
    • MOBILE MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Turkey - mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 – 2024
        • Table Turkey - ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2019
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Turkey - active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2010 – 2024
      • Mobile infrastructure
  • United Arab Emirates
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table UAE – telecommunications revenue by service – 2008 – 2018
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historic overview
      • Regulatory authority
      • Draft bill for new authority
      • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • Interconnect and access
      • Fibre access
      • Number Portability (NP)
      • Royalty payments
      • Censorship
      • Roaming tariff reduction
      • VoIP
    • MOBILE MARKET OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table UAE - mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
        • Table UAE – prepaid subscribers – 2009 – 2019
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table UAE – mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2024
      • Mobile infrastructure
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • M-commerce
      • M-payments
    • MOBILE HANDSETS
  • Yemen
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
      • YemenNet and AdenNet
    • KEY INDUSTRY CONSIDERATIONS
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Regulatory authority
      • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • Privatisation
      • Internet governance
    • MOBILE MARKET OVERVIEW
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Yemen - mobile subscriptions and penetration based on ITU – 2010 – 2017
        • Table Yemen - mobile subscriptions and penetration based on company data – 2018 - 2019
      • Mobile broadband statistics
        • Table Yemen - active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2011 - 2017
      • Regulatory issues
      • Mobile infrastructure
  • Glossary of abbreviations
  • Related reports

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