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Saudi Arabia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Saudi Arabia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Supporting digital technologies is a key component of Saudi Arabia's future strategy

Saudi Arabia entered 2018 on a positive note with the government announcement of its largest financial budget ever which will support the country's expansion and diversification plans as part of its Vision 2030 program. Generally speaking; the strategy will implement changes relating to improving the kingdom's economy through increases in taxes and fuel prices as well as encouraging investment and diversification away from its reliance on oil. It will also support the use of digital technologies for such uses as cloud computing and e-commerce as well as encouraging ICT development, including investments in broadband infrastructure.

Broadband is widely available in Saudi Arabia via DSL, fibre, and wireless. In 2018 DSL subscriptions still account for the largest proportion of fixed broadband subscriptions but are now in decline as consumers switch to mobile broadband or FttH/FttP services.

Internet penetration in Saudi Arabia has reached around 80%, well above the average for the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is committed to providing Internet services to its deprived rural areas and a special Universal Services project was established around ten years ago. The program is now over three quarters completed with thousands of localities provided access where it was not considered commercially viable for operators to do so.

The mobile operators have faced recent changes and challenges with the introduction of the biometric fingerprint law which saw subscriber numbers drop, as well as a shift away from pre-paid accounts.

A major competitive shake-up for the Saudi telecoms sector began in late 2016 when the Saudi government announced plans to award unified licenses to Zain Saudi Arabia and Mobily, which would allow the operators to offer fixed line telephony and Internet services. In the past only STC was permitted to do so. In 2018 Go Telecom's request for the unified license was rejected however.

Further increasing competition in the mobile market was the recent lifting of OTT VoIP and messaging services bans, allowing providers such as Skype, Viber, Whatsapp and so forth to begin operations again.

This valuable report provides analyses, information, industry statistics and insights in the major players in Saudi Arabia's telecoms sector.

Recent developments:

Competition in the fixed market may increase with Universal Licenses having been awarded to some secondary mobile operators.In September 2017 the CITC lifted its ban on OTT VoIP and messaging applications.
The finger-printing regulation for all mobile subscribers impacted upon the mobile sector in terms of both subscribers and revenue.
Saudi Arabia is implementing strategies as part of its goals outlined for its 2020 National Transformation Plan as well as the Vision 2030 program.

Companies mentioned in this report

include:Saudi Telecom Company (STC)/Bravo, Integrated Telecom Company (ITC)/Bayn Consortium, GO Telecom/Etihad Atheeb, Mobily/Ettihad Etisalat/Bayanat Al-Oula, Zain KSA, Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia, Arabsat.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - Saudi Arabia - 2018
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2018
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2018
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2018
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
      • Table Saudi Arabia - GDP and inflation - 2012 - 2018
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Universal Licenses
        • Table Saudi Arabia - mobile, fixed-line and total telecoms revenue of service providers - 2001 –2016
        • Table Fixed telephone teledensity and mobile subscriber penetration - 2012 - 1H 2018
      • Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030
    • SUMMARY OF KEY DEVELOPMENTS
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORIC OVERVIEW
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION
    • DATA SERVICE PROVIDER LICENCES
    • FIXED-LINE LICENCES
    • NEW SATELLITE BROADBAND LICENSE
    • INTERCONNECT AND ACCESS
    • NUMBER PORTABILITY (NP)
    • UNIVERSAL SERVICE
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS IN SAUDI ARABIA
    • SAUDI TELECOM COMPANY (STC)
      • Table STC Group revenue and profit - 2005 - 1H 2018
    • INTEGRATED TELECOM COMPANY (ITC)
    • GO TELECOM (ETIHAD ATHEEB)
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Fixed telephone teledensity - 2012 - 1H 2018
      • Table Fixed lines in service - 1995 - 1H 2018
      • Alternative operators' infrastructure
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE (SATELLITE, SUBMARINE)
      • Terrestrial cable networks
        • Table International Internet bandwidth - 2010 - 2016
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
    • SPECIFIC IT DEVELOPMENTS (DATA CENTRES, CLOUD COMPUTING)
  • SMART INFRASTRUCTURE
    • M2M/IOT/BIG DATA
    • SMART GRIDS
    • SMART CITIES
  • BROADBAND ACCESS MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
    • INTERNET ACCESS
    • CENSORSHIP
    • BROADBAND STATISTICS
      • Table Internet users and user penetration - 2005 – 2017
      • Table Fixed broadband subscriptions - technologies and penetration - 2010 - 1H 2018
      • Table Saudi Arabia - household PC penetration - 2002 - 2017
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP)
      • STC
      • GO Telecom
      • Mobily
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • WiFi
  • DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • M-BANKING
    • E-HEALTH
    • VIDEOSTREAMING
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • General statistics
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 – 2004
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration - 2007 - 1H 2018
        • Table Major mobile operators' subscribers and market shares - 2005 - Q1 2017
      • Mobile voice
        • Table Saudi Arabia - prepaid subscribers - 2002 - 1H 2018
      • Mobile data
    • MOBILE BROADBAND STATISTICS
      • Table Mobile broadband subscriptions - technologies and penetration - 2010 - 1H 2018
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Award of second GSM mobile licence
      • iDEN contract awarded
      • Award of Third Generation (3G) licences
      • Award of third mobile licence
      • Mobile license extensions 2016
      • Roaming
      • MTRs
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
      • Fingerprinting law
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • GSM, 3G
      • LTE, LTE-A
      • Satellite mobile
      • 5G
    • IOT AND M2M NETWORKS
  • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
    • SAUDI TELECOM COMPANY (STC)
    • MOBILY (ETIHAD ETISALAT)
      • Table Mobily revenue and mobile subscribers - 2006 - 9M 2017
    • ZAIN KSA
      • Table Zain KSA mobile subscribers and revenue - 2015 - 9M 2017
    • MOBILE HANDSETS
  • RELATED REPORTS

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