Thursday, May 25, 2006

Latest Arab Telecoms Report

Arab telecom operators served 85 million cellular subscribers and 30 million mainlines in 2005.

Amman -- May 24, 2006 -- With the advent of new operators and increased competition in 2005, subscribers for 39 examined cellular operators in 18 Arab countries reached 84.844 million. ALJAWAL and Maroc Telecom sustained their top rankings by end of 2005, with 11.845 million and 8.237 million subscribers respectively. Orascom Telecom Algérie ended 2005 with 7.109 million subscribers, becoming the third largest mobile operator in the region. Bahrain recorded the highest cellular penetration rate in 2005, which stood at 105.8% followed by UAE (99%). UAE and Bahrain also had the highest fixed line penetration rates in 2005, which stood at 27% and 26.6% respectively. The simple average for the operators’ Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) was US$ 26 in 2005 for cellular services compared to a fixed line ARPU of US$ 45.7. Qatar’s Qtel recorded the highest ARPU for both fixed and cellular services in 2005.

A new report, “A Scorecard of Key Performance Indicators of Arab Telecom Operators” was released to the Arab Advisors Group’s Telecoms Strategic Research Service subscribers on May 18, 2006. The eighteen countries covered in this report are: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.

“The Arab cellular markets are growing at a high pace, while the fixed line markets are stagnating. In 2005, cellular operators added around 34 million subscribers while all the fixed line operators added a mere 2.4 million mainlines. Cellular operators in Algeria, Egypt and Saudi recorded the highest subscriber additions in 2005. Algérie Telecom Mobile topped the ranks with 3.731 million added subscribers in 2005. As for Telecom Egypt, it added the highest number of mainlines in 2005 which stood at 900,000.” Ms. Serene Zawaydeh, a Consultant at Arab Advisors Group wrote in the report. “Competition in cellular services is a main driver for growth. Several cellular operators recorded high growth rates in 2005. Wataniya Telecom Algérie recorded the highest growth rate, which stood at 413.2%, followed by MTC Atheer (339.1%). As for fixed line operators, Iraq’s ITPC, recorded the highest growth rate of 82% in 2005, while the fixed line markets in Sudan, Jordan and Bahrain declined.” Ms. Zawaydeh added.

The report covers the Integrated Communications Providers (ICPs) in the region that provide both fixed and mobile services. These operators include Algérie Telecom (Algeria); Batelco (Bahrain); Etisalat (UAE); Jordan Telecom Group (Jordan); Maroc Telecom (Morocco); Paltel (Palestine); Qtel (Qatar); Saudi Telecommunications Company (Saudi Arabia); Tunisie Telecom (Tunisia); and Omantel (Oman). The report also covers the operators that offer only fixed line services. These are: Telecom Egypt; Lebanon’s Ogero; Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (Syrian Telecom); Kuwait’s Ministry of Communications (MOC); Libya’s General Directorate of Posts and Telecom (GPTC); Iraqi Telecommunication and Post Company (ITPC); Sudan’s Sudatel; and Yemen’s Public Telecommunication Company (PTC). The report further covers operators that provide cellular services only. These are: Areeba (previously Spacetel Syria); Areeba Sudan; Asiacell (Iraq); Alfa (Lebanon); Al Madar (Libya); Bravo (Saudi Arabia); Fastlink (Jordan); Iraqna (Iraq); Libyana (Libya); MobiNil (Egypt); MTC Atheer (Iraq); MTC Vodafone Kuwait; MTC Vodafone Bahrain; MTC Touch (Lebanon); Nawras Telecom (Oman); Medi Telecom (Morocco); Mobily (Saudi Arabia); Mobitel (Sudan); Orascom Telecom Tunisie; Orascom Telecom Algérie; Sabafon (Yemen); Spacetel Yemen; Syriatel; Umniah Mobile Company (Jordan); Vodafone Egypt; Wataniya Telecom (Kuwait); Wataniya Telecom Algérie; XPress (Jordan) and Yemen Mobile.

The Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region has already produced over close to 570 reports on the Arab World’s communications and media markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group Strategic Research Services (Media and Telecom). To date, Arab Advisors Group has served over 370 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients.

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