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Saudi Arabia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


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Saudi Arabia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

MVNO developments set to shake up Saudi Arabia market

Saudi Arabia offers many opportunities for the future with a strong ICT market which is growing year-on-year and a significant interest from government and enterprises to utilise recent technology developments surrounding cloud computing and smart technologies.

In 2013 mobile subscribers actually declined in Saudi Arabia due to a crackdown on the number of illegal immigrant workers in the country along with new restrictions on the number of pilgrim workers allowed. Phone registration regulations have also been tightened and as a result mobile subs dropped to 51 million at the end of 2013, compared to around 53 million in 2012.

In a move towards liberalisation; in mid 2013 three virtual telecoms licenses where awarded in Saudi Arabia and MVNO services are expected to start during 2014.

While the telecoms sector is highly competitive there are also growth opportunities in data services for both fixed and mobile. Data fees will become more and more important to overall revenues in the future.

Fixed broadband penetration is growing strongly in the kingdom. Broadband is available via ADSL, fibre and wireless. Mobile broadband has also become a feasible proposition and viable alternative to fixed broadband following substantial investments in 3G and LTE technology.

The Saudi Arabian government regards ICT industry development as a national priority and to this end it is moving ahead with digital economy developments. In particular it is cutting red tape and streamlining business procedures, resulting in praise from the World Bank in 2013 which acknowledged Saudi Arabia's efforts in implementing business reforms such as electronic filing and new payment systems.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Saudi Arabia'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;
Broadband subscriber forecasts to 2023;


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Saudi Arabia's telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Saudi Arabia
4.3.1 Data service provider licences
4.3.2 Fixed-line licences
4.3.3 MVNO licenses
4.4 Privatisation
4.5 Interconnect and access
4.6 Number Portability (NP)
4.7 Universal service
5. Fixed network operators in Saudi Arabia
5.1 Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
5.2 Integrated Telecom Company (ITC)
5.3 Etihad Atheeb Telecommunications Company (GO)
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.1.1 Alternative operators' infrastructure
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Submarine cable networks
6.2.2 Satellite networks
7. Telecoms & IT
8. Broadband access market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Censorship
8.1.2 Broadband statistics
8.2 Broadband forecasts
8.2.1 Scenario 1 higher growth
8.2.2 Scenario 2 lower growth
8.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
8.5 Broadband powerline (BPL)
8.6 Wireless broadband
8.6.1 WiFi
8.6.2 WiMAX
8.6.3 Internet via satellite
9. Digital Economy/Digital media
9.1 Services
9.1.1 E-government
9.1.2 E-health
9.1.3 E-education
9.1.4 E-commerce
9.2 Smart cities/smart communities
9.2.1 Smart grids
9.3 Digital media
9.3.1 Overview
9.3.2 Social media
10. Digital Broadcasting
10.1 Overview of broadcasting market
10.2 Broadband TV (IPTV)
10.3 Satellite-based digital Pay TV
10.3.1 ART
10.3.2 OSN Orbit Showtime
10.3.3 Rotana Media Group
11. Mobile communications
11.1 Overview of Saudi Arabia's mobile market
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.2 Regulatory issues
11.2.1 Award of second GSM mobile licence
11.2.2 iDEN contract awarded
11.2.3 Award of Third Generation (3G) licences
11.2.4 Award of third mobile licence
11.2.5 Roaming
11.2.6 Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)
11.3 Mobile technologies
11.3.1 Analogue
11.3.2 Digital
11.3.3 3G/HSPA
11.3.4 LTE/4G
11.4 Major mobile operators
11.4.1 Saudi Telecom Company (STC)/Jawal
11.4.2 Ettihad Etisalat (Mobily)
11.4.3 Zain Saudi Arabia
11.5 Mobile voice services
11.5.1 Prepaid
11.5.2 Satellite mobile
11.6 Mobile broadband
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics - Saudi Arabia 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 - 2013
Table 8 Saudi Arabia - mobile, fixed-line and total telecommunications services revenue 2001 - 2012
Table 9 Saudi Arabia - mobile and fixed line subscribers 2000 - 2013
Table 10 STC Group revenue and profit 2005 - 2013
Table 11 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1996 2013
Table 12 International Internet bandwidth 2005 - 2011
Table 13 IT market revenue 2006 - 2015
Table 14 Saudi Arabia - Internet users and penetration estimates 1995 - 2014
Table 15 Saudi Arabia - fixed broadband subscribers 2001 - 2013
Table 16 Saudi Arabia - household PC penetration 2002 - 2015
Table 17 Forecast broadband subscribers higher growth scenario 2014, 2019; 2024
Table 18 Forecast broadband subscribers lower growth scenario 2014, 2019; 2024
Table 19 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2004
Table 20 Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005 - 2014
Table 21 Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change 2014
Table 22 Major mobile operators' subscribers and market shares 2005 - 2014
Table 23 Bravo historical financial data 2007 - 2012
Table 24 Bravo historical subscribers and ARPU 2007 2012
Table 25 Mobily revenue and profit 2006 - 2014
Table 26 Zain Saudi Arabia subscribers and revenue 2008 - 2014
Table 27 Saudi Arabia - prepaid subscribers 2002 - 2013
Table 28 Zain prepaid subscribers 2008 - 2014
Table 29 Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2008 - 2015
Chart 1 Mobile operators' market share 2005 - 2014
Exhibit 1 - Wasel service project
Exhibit 2 - MBC/Al Arabiya
Exhibit 3 Historical Bravo

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