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Saudi Arabia Telecommunications Report

Saudi Arabia Telecommunications Report

Market Study
Published: October 2016
Pages: For full details, please email
Research from: Business Monitor International
Sector: Broadband & Fixed

From: GBP 820.00
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BMI maintains its view the Saudi Arabian telecommunications consumers exhibit strong demand for higher speed data services in the wireless and wireline segments. Despite this, the mobile market has already reached saturation point and displays classic signs of slowing down with penetration rates exceeding 167%. Based on a decline of over 1.9mn subscribers in Q116 alone, we believe the market harbours a significant number of inactive accounts. However, we remain optimistic operators' investments in enhancing infrastructure capabilities will generate new growth opportunities. Additionally, eEnterprise solutions are becoming a main pillar for the leading operators, with new datacentres and business solutions popping up regularly. Still, overall competition is keeping ARPU down and infrastructure development in a country as vast as Saudi Arabia is expensive. While investing heavily into their fibre backbones, operators are therefore looking to improve the efficiency of their infrastructure and are aiming to outsource towers .

Latest Updates & Industry Developments

  • Latest market data suggest the mobile subscriptions declined to 50.9mn in Q1 2016 after 1.8mn subscribers were lost in the first quarter of the year. Furthermore, an additional 800,000 subscribers were shed in Q4 2015. These losses suggest a significant number of inactive prepaid accounts have been shed by operators and this trend could continue in the future as the penetration rate increase above the 167% mark. We estimate only modest organic growth prospects in terms of subscriber numbers out to 2020 as our estimates suggest the mobile market will grow to around 57.8mn by end of our current forecast period.

  • 3G/4G uptake in the country has remained healthy, with an estimated 33.39mn 3G/4G enabled subscribers in the country by YE15, over 63% of the market. Our forecast estimates over 80% of the market using 3G/4G services by end of 2020. 63% of the market. The wireline voice market grew to 3. 8 mn subscribers at the end of 2015, according to the regulator's data. However, demand for high - speed data services is driving growth in the wireline broadband segment. Total fixed and mobile broadband subscribers approximated to around 23.75mn at end of 2015, a number we see growing to over 25.93mn by 2020.

Mobile Market Saturation Evident
Net Additions (000) & Penetration Rate (%), 2014-2016
Source: BMI, Operator data, National regulator


Providing expert analysis, independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the telecommunications industry.

Report includes: BMI Industry View, Industry SWOT Analysis, BMI Industry Forecast Scenario, Telecommunications Risk Reward Index, Market Overview, Regulatory Environment, Company Profiles and Competitive

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