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2006 Middle Eastern - Mobile Communications and Mobile Data Markets


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Counties covered: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

This annual report provides an insight into the disparate mobile markets of the Middle East. Topics detailed in the report include the following:

Regional mobile market developments and analysis
Government policies
Regional expansion by local players
Infrastructure, GSM, CDMA, iDEN
Satellite mobile, Push-to-Talk
Mobile data - content and applications
3G and HSDPA
Major mobile operators


While fixed-line teledensity in these countries remains comparatively low, the mobile market is booming, with a significant rise in the number of subscribers over 2005, notably in Iraq and Iran, and to a lesser extent in the more mature markets of Israel and Kuwait.

Bahrain recorded the highest mobile penetration rate in 2005, which stood at 117% followed by UAE (99%). In early 2006, the ratio of mobile penetration to fixed-line penetration was 365% in Jordan and 343% in Bahrain. New mobile operators have been granted international gateway rights in several countries, resulting in lower prices for international phone calls.

By early 2006, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar were all testing 3G services following its successful introduction in Bahrain and Israel.

Arab incumbents, mobile operators and other investors have all been enthusiastically buying licences and operators elsewhere over the past two years in other Middle Eastern countries and in the less developed regions of Africa and West Asia. MTC of Kuwait has been the biggest player, followed by Etisalat of the UAE and Kuwait’s other mobile operator, Wataniya.

1. OVERVIEW OF THE MIDDLE EASTERN MOBILE MARKET
1.1 Market overview
1.2 Mobile operators are locally owned
1.3 But are buying up big elsewhere
1.3.1 MTC
1.3.2 Wataniya
1.3.3 Etisalat
1.4 Third Generation mobile (3G)/UMTS
2. BAHRAIN
2.1 Overview of Bahrain’s mobile market
2.1.1 Mobile statistics
2.2 Regulatory issues
2.2.1 Second mobile licence
2.3 Mobile technologies
2.3.1 Analogue
2.3.2 Digital
2.3.3 3G
2.3.4 HSDPA
2.4 Major mobile operators
2.4.1 Batelco
2.4.2 MTC-Vodafone
2.5 Mobile voice services
2.5.1 Prepaid
2.6 Mobile data services
2.6.1 Multimedia messaging service (MMS)
2.6.2 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
2.6.3 BlackBerry
2.6.4 Mobile TV
3. IRAN
3.1 Overview of Iran’s mobile market
3.1.1 Mobile statistics
3.2 Regulatory issues
3.2.1 Second GSM licence
3.3 Major mobile operators
3.3.1 MCI
3.3.2 Mobile Telecommunications Company of Esfahan (MTCE)
3.3.3 Rafsanjan Industrial Complex Islamic Cooperative Company (RIC) / Taliya
3.3.4 Telecommunications Kish Company (TKC)
3.4 Mobile voice services
3.4.1 Satellite mobile
3.5 Mobile data services
3.5.1 SMS
4. IRAQ
4.1 Overview of Iraq’s mobile market
4.1.1 Mobile statistics
4.2 Regulatory issues
4.2.1 First mobile licences awarded
4.2.2 Tender for new mobile licences
4.3 Mobile technologies
4.4 Major mobile operators
4.4.1 Asia-Cell Telecommunications Company Ltd
4.4.2 Orascom Telecom Iraq Corporation / Iraqna
4.4.3 Atheer Telecom Iraq / MTC Atheer
4.5 Other mobile operators
4.5.1 Sana Tel
4.5.2 Korek Telecom Ltd.
4.6 Mobile voice services
4.6.1 Prepaid
4.6.2 Satellite mobile
4.7 Mobile data
5. ISRAEL
5.1 Overview of Israel’s mobile market
5.1.1 Mobile statistics
5.2 Regulatory issues
5.2.1 First mobile licences awarded
5.2.2 Tender for new mobile licences
5.3 Mobile technologies
5.4 Major mobile operators
5.4.1 Asia-Cell Telecommunications Company Ltd
5.4.2 Orascom Telecom Iraq Corporation / Iraqna
5.4.3 Atheer Telecom Iraq / MTC Atheer
5.5 Other mobile operators
5.5.1 Sana Tel
5.5.2 Korek Telecom Ltd.
5.6 Mobile voice services
5.6.1 Prepaid
5.6.2 Satellite mobile
5.7 Mobile data
6. JORDAN
6.1 Overview of Jordan’s mobile market
6.1.1 Mobile statistics
6.2 Regulatory issues
6.2.1 Third GSM licence
6.3 Mobile technologies
6.3.1 GSM
6.3.2 Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN)
6.4 Major mobile operators
6.4.1 Jordan Mobile Telephone Services / Fastlink
6.4.2 MobileCom
6.4.3 XPress Telecommunications
6.4.4 Umniah
6.5 Mobile voice services
6.5.1 Prepaid
6.5.2 Satellite mobile
6.6 Mobile data services
6.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
6.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
6.6.3 Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
6.6.4 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
6.6.5 Push-to-talk (PTT)
6.6.6 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
6.7 Mobile content and applications
7. KUWAIT
7.1 Overview of Kuwait’s mobile market
7.1.1 Mobile statistics
7.2 Regulatory issues
7.2.1 Proposed third operator
7.3 Mobile technologies
7.3.1 Analogue
7.3.2 Digital
7.3.3 Third Generation mobile (3G)
7.4 Major mobile operators
7.4.1 MTC-Vodafone (Mobile Telecommunications Company)
7.4.2 National Mobile Telecommunication Co (NMT) / Wataniya Telecom
7.5 Mobile voice services
7.5.1 Prepaid
7.5.2 Satellite mobile
7.6 Mobile data services
7.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
7.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
7.6.3 Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
7.6.4 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
7.6.5 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
7.6.6 Push-to-talk (PTT)
7.7 Mobile content and applications
8. LEBANON
8.1 Overview of Lebanon’s mobile market
8.1.1 Mobile statistics
8.2 Regulatory issues
8.2.1 Lebanon’s mobile licences
8.2.2 Background - original BOT contracts
8.3 Major mobile operators
8.3.1 MTC
8.3.2 Alfa Telecom
8.4 Mobile voice services
8.4.1 Prepaid
8.4.2 Satellite mobile
8.5 Mobile data services
9. OMAN
9.1 Overview of Oman’s mobile market
9.1.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Regulatory issues
9.2.1 Second mobile licence
9.3 Mobile technologies
9.3.1 Analogue
9.3.2 Digital
9.3.3 Third Generation (3G)
9.4 Major mobile operators
9.4.1 Oman Mobile Telecommunications (OMTC)
9.4.2 -Nawras Telecom (Omani-Qatari Telecommunications Company)
9.5 Mobile voice services
9.5.1 Prepaid
9.5.2 Satellite mobile
9.6 Mobile data services
9.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
9.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
9.6.3 Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
9.6.4 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
9.6.5 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
9.7 Mobile content and applications
10. QATAR
10.1 Overview of Qatar’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Mobile technologies
10.2.1 Analogue
10.2.2 Digital
10.2.3 Third Generation (3G) mobile
10.3 Major mobile operators
10.3.1 QatarNet
10.4 Mobile voice services
10.4.1 Prepaid
10.4.2 Satellite mobile
10.5 Mobile data services
10.5.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
10.5.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
10.5.3 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
10.6 Mobile content and applications
11. SAUDI ARABIA
11.1 Overview of Saudi Arabia’s mobile market
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.2 Regulatory issues
11.2.1 Award of second mobile licence
11.2.2 IDEN contract awarded
11.2.3 Award of Third Generation (3G) licence
11.3 Mobile technologies
11.3.1 Analogue
11.3.2 Digital
11.3.3 3G
11.4 Major mobile operators
11.4.1 Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
11.4.2 Ettihad Etisalat (Mobily)
11.4.3 Public Telecommunications Company (Bravo)
11.5 Mobile voice services
11.5.1 Prepaid
11.5.2 Satellite mobile
11.6 Mobile data services
11.7 Mobile applications
12. SYRIA
12.1 Overview of Syria’s mobile market
12.1.1 Mobile statistics
12.2 Regulatory issues
12.2.1 Pilot project
12.2.2 BOT contracts
12.3 Mobile technologies
12.4 Major mobile operators
12.4.1 Syriatel
12.4.2 Investcom / Areeba
12.5 Mobile voice services
12.5.1 Prepaid
12.5.2 Satellite mobile
12.6 Mobile data services
13. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
13.1 Overview of UAE’s mobile market
13.1.1 Mobile statistics
13.2 Mobile technologies
13.2.1 Analogue and digital
13.2.2 Third Generation mobile (3G)
13.3 Mobile voice services
13.3.1 Prepaid
13.3.2 Satellite mobile
13.4 Mobile data services
13.4.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
13.4.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
13.4.3 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
13.4.4 Push-to-talk (PTT)
13.5 Mobile content and applications
14. YEMEN
14.1 Overview of Yemen’s mobile market
14.1.1 Mobile statistics
14.2 Regulatory issues
14.2.1 GSM licences awarded
14.2.2 Third GSM licence
14.3 Major mobile operators
14.3.1 TeleYemen
14.3.2 SabaFon
14.3.3 Spacetel Yemen
14.4 Mobile voice services
14.4.1 Prepaid
14.4.2 Satellite mobile
14.5 Mobile data services
15. GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS

Table 1 - Mobile penetration and annual change in the Middle East - 2005
Table 2 - Mobile statistics overview Bahrain - 2005
Table 3 - Mobile subscribers and annual change by operator - December 2005
Table 4 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1995 - 2005
Table 5 - Prepaid mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2005
Table 6 - Mobile statistics overview Iran - 2005
Table 7 - Mobile subscribers in Iran - 1995 - 2005
Table 8 - Mobile statistics overview Iraq - 2005
Table 9 - Mobile subscribers and annual change by operator - December 2005
Table 10 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 2003 - 2005
Table 11 - Mobile statistics overview Israel - 2005
Table 12 - Mobile subscribers and annual change by operator - December 2005
Table 13 - Mobile subscribers and penetration in Israel - 2003 - 2005
Table 14 - Mobile statistics overview Jordan - 2005
Table 15 - Mobile subscribers and annual change by operator - December 2005
Table 16 - Mobile subscribers - 1995 - 2005
Table 17 - Breakdown of prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2003 - 2004
Table 18 - MobileCom prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2002 - 2004
Table 19 - Mobile statistics overview Kuwait - 2005
Table 20 - Mobile subscribers and annual change by operator - December 2005
Table 21 - Mobile subscribers in Kuwait - 1994 - 2005
Table 22 - Mobile statistics overview Lebanon - 2005
Table 23 - Mobile subscribers and annual change by operator - December 2005
Table 24 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1995 - 2005
Table 25 - Mobile statistics overview Oman - 2005
Table 26 - Mobile subscribers and annual change by operator - December 2005
Table 27 - Mobile subscribers in Oman - 1994 - 2006
Table 28 - Prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2005 - 2006
Table 29 - Prepaid and postpaid subscribers by operator - June 2005
Table 30 - Mobile statistics overview Qatar - 2005
Table 31 - Mobile subscribers and penetration in Qatar - 1995 - 2006
Table 32 - Prepaid subscribers - 2000 - 2004
Table 33 - Mobile statistics overview Saudi Arabia - December 2005
Table 34 - Mobile subscribers and penetration in Saudi Arabia - 1995 - 2005
Table 35 - Mobile subscribers and annual change by operator - December 2005
Table 36 - Mobile statistics overview Syria - 2005
Table 37 - Mobile subscribers and annual change by operator - December 2005
Table 38 - Mobile subscribers in Syria - 1999 - 2005
Table 39 - Mobile statistics overview UAE - March 2006
Table 40 - Mobile subscribers and penetration in UAE - 1995 - 2006
Table 41 - Mobile subscribers and annual change by operator - December 2005
Table 42 - Mobile statistics overview Yemen - May 2006
Table 43 - Mobile subscribers and annual change by operator - December 2005
Table 44 - Mobile subscribers and penetration in Yemen - 1998 - 2006

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