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

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

Saudi Arabia offers one of the most progressive telecoms markets in the Middle East and is well positioned to capitalise on the potential opportunities offered by 5G. Mobile penetration is considered high in and the market is heavily saturated, with a large number of mobile broadband users.

The mobile operators are competitive and comprise of Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Mobily and Zain KSA - as well as MVNOs. The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus has resulted in more workers, students and citizens being based at home and the telecoms operators are expecting more demand for their services. The operators have demonstrated a sense of social responsibility during the Covid-19 crisis by launching various initiatives to support society in terms of education, enterprise, and healthcare.

Recently the operators have been exploring ways to monetise the thousands of mobile towers spread throughout Saudi Arabia. In 2019 STC established a subsidiary to manage its tower infrastructure, called TAWAL.

5G is firmly on the agenda for Saudi Arabia with the regulator awarding new spectrum for 4G/5G use in early 2019. STC, Zain KSA and Mobily have all developed various 5G partnerships with solution providers like Huawei, Nokia, Cisco and Ericsson and the three operators have launched preliminary services.

While Saudi Arabia's fixed broadband penetration is considered low on a global scale; there has been significant work towards developing fibre-based networks instead of DSL, which still comprise the largest market share.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains all around the world. During this time, the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device and ICT equipment production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to source necessary equipment or manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may also be postponed or slowed down in some countries. On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services is likely to be impacted by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. In contrast, the demand for mobile and broadband services is expected to rise, as more citizens will require online services for work, entertainment, education, tele-health and social purposes.

This valuable BuddeComm report provides analyses, information, industry statistics and insights into in Saudi Arabia's progressive telecoms sector.

Recent developments:

Zain KSA extends 5G coverage to 35 cities;
Zain KSA and Mobily propose setting up a joint tower management company;
Competition to increase with two new MVNO licenses to be offered later in 2020;
Universal Services Licenses are awarded;
Infrastructure sharing agreement allows Zain KSA to utilise the fibre-based infrastructure of STC.
Saudi Arabia continues implementing strategies as part of its the Vision 2030 program;
Report update includes operator data to Q2 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report
Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Integrated Telecom Company (ITC), GO Telecom/Etihad Atheeb, Mobily/Etihad Etisalat/Bayanat Al-Oula, Zain KSA, Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia, Arabsat.

1 Key statistics
2 Regional Middle East Market Comparison
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
2.3 Fixed and mobile broadband penetration
3 Country overview
3.1 Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19)
4 Telecommunications market
4.1 Market overview
4.2 Market analysis
5 Regulatory environment
5.1 Historic overview
5.2 Regulatory authority
5.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
5.4 Fixed-line developments
5.5 Mobile network developments
6 Mobile communications
6.1 Market overview
6.2 Market analysis
6.3 Mobile statistics
6.4 Mobile broadband statistics
6.5 Mobile infrastructure
6.6 Major mobile operators
6.7 Mobile content and applications
7 Fixed-line broadband market
7.1 Market overview
7.2 Fixed-line broadband technologies
7.3 Integrated Telecom Company (ITC)
8 Fixed network operators
8.1 Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
9 Telecommunications infrastructure
9.1 Overview of the national telecom network
9.2 International infrastructure (satellite, submarine)
9.3 Smart infrastructure
10 Appendix Historic data
11 Glossary of abbreviations
12 Related Reports
Table 1 Top-level country statistics and regulatory authorities Saudi Arabia 2020
Table 2 Saudi Arabia GDP and inflation 2014 2020
Table 3 Saudi Arabia mobile, fixed-line and total telecoms revenue of service providers 2010 2016
Table 4 Saudi Arabia - mobile subscribers and penetration 2009 2024
Table 5 Saudi Arabia - major mobile operators' market share 2005 2018
Table 6 Saudi Arabia prepaid subscribers 2002 Q3 2018
Table 7 Saudi Arabia active mobile broadband subscriptions and penetration 2010 2024
Table 8 Change in the number of Mobily's mobile subscribers 2006 2017
Table 9 Development of Mobily's financial data 2010 2020
Table 10 Development of Zain KSA's financial data 2014 2020
Table 11 Development of Zain KSA's mobile ARPU 2014 2020
Table 12 Change in the number of Zain KSA's mobile subscribers 2014 2020
Table 13 Saudi Arabia - fixed broadband subscribers 2009 - 2024
Table 14 Saudi Arabia - fixed broadband subscriptions technologies and penetration 2010 Q3 2018
Table 15 Development of STC Group's revenue and profit 2010 2020
Table 16 Saudi Arabia fixed-lines in service and teledensity 2010 2020
Table 17 Saudi Arabia International Internet bandwidth 2010 2018
Table 18 Historic - Saudi Arabia - fixed lines in service - 1995 2009
Table 19 Historic - Saudi Arabia mobile, fixed-line and total telecoms revenue of service providers 2001 2009
Table 20 Historic - mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 2008
Table 21 Historic - Mobily revenue 2006 2009
Table 22 Historic - STC Group revenue and profit 2005 2009
Chart 1 Middle East mobile subscriber and mobile broadband penetration
Chart 2 Middle East fixed and mobile broadband subscriber penetration
Chart 3 Saudi Arabia mobile subscriptions and penetration 2009 2024
Chart 4 Saudi Arabia major mobile operators market share - 2018
Chart 5 Saudi Arabia mobile subscribers and penetration 2009 2024
Chart 6 Development of Mobily's financial data 2010 2020
Chart 7 Development of Zain KSA's financial data 2014 2020
Chart 8 Change in the number of Zain KSA's mobile subscribers 2014 2020
Chart 9 Development of STC Group's revenue and profit 2010 2020
Exhibit 1 Historical Bravo acquisition
Exhibit 2 Submarine cables in-service in Saudi Arabia
Exhibit 3 2Africa submarine cable
Exhibit 4 2Africa landing stations

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