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A highly competitive and evolved mobile sector exists in Kuwait
The deployment of fixed broadband has been steady but slow in Kuwait. In the last couple of years fixed services have begun to make inroads but penetration is still low compared to other countries and there is no NBN policy in place.
Fibre subscribers account for around a quarter of all fixed broadband subscriptions The government recognises that the existing copper based infrastructure will not keep up with the data demands of the future.
Kuwait’s telecom sector is characterized by a highly developed mobile sector with many multiple subscriptions. Mobile represents the majority of total broadband connections.
The three major mobile providers in Kuwait (Zain, Ooredoo, Viva) are highly competitive and while Zain has the highest market share of about 38%, the other two are not far behind, capturing over 30% each as well. Viva joined the market in 2008 and rose quickly to capture market share against the existing two players.
With such a vibrant and well established mobile sector at play, the large operators are now moving towards offering more value-added services as well as technology and network upgrades. In the past year or so, Zain Kuwait, for example, has launched M2M services for corporate customers as well as VoLTE services. Zain Kuwait also recently conducted successful tests of 4.5G technology in conjunction with Huawei.
Viva, Zain and Ooredoo have all turned their attention towards LTE-A. The involvement of Huawei has been pivotal to the development of LTE-A in Kuwait which was initially deployed in the enterprise sector due to a lack of required chipsets and antennas.
|Subscribers to telecoms services (million): (e)|
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
- Zain Kuwait’s data revenues grew by around 8% in 2015 (in local currency).
- Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) is an important and influential investment company in Kuwait. KIPCO has been a major player in the Kuwaiti communications industry.
- With mobile penetration at high levels, focus has shifted to the mobile data market. All three operators have upgraded networks to support faster downlink speeds and are increasingly focused on mobile content and applications.
- The launch of the new Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA) took place in February 2016.
- Subscribers to FttH/FttB services in Kuwait account for around 25% of all fixed broadband subscribers.
Ministry of Communications, Qualitynet, Orbit Showtime Network (OSN), KIPCO, Mobile Telecommunications Co (MTC) / Zain, Ooredoo Kuwait, Kuwait Telecom Company (KTC) / Viva, Fasttelco.