Telecoms market growth in the Middle East: second to Africa but well above the global average

9 Jul 2009

Driven by some wealthy economies, increasing levels of competition for telecoms services and a desire to target underserved sectors of the population, the 2013 Middle Eastern market for telecoms services will have grown 30% from 2008 levels, according to new research from TeleGeography.

Five countries in the region will see average annual growth rates of 10% or more. Each of these is poor by local standards, with GDP per capita well below the regional average and low penetration rates for telecoms services. At the other end of the scale, the six richest countries will see little revenue growth and only one of them, the UAE, will grow at rates in excess of the regional average. In between the two extremes are the two large markets which dominate the region and currently account for 45% of the market, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Despite having relatively well developed markets both will continue to report robust growth and will contribute an additional USD6 billion of service revenues to the regional total by 2013.

‘Despite political turmoil in the region we continue to see very solid quarterly growth in subscribers and we predict that this will continue over the coming years’ said Tig Harvey, Research Director for TeleGeography’s GlobalComms products. ‘By 2013 the number of wireless subscribers in the Middle East will have increased by 50% while broadband connections will have more than doubled’.

TeleGeography's GlobalComms Insight