Prevalent broadband and a developing digital economy
Saudi Arabia’s market continues to grow at a steady pace, with mobile continuing to underpin domestic market growth as the fixed line market languishes. Fixed line incumbent operator STC is focusing on international expansion, broadband, financial performance and customer experience as part of its 2011 - 2013 strategy.
Broadband services are available via ADSL, fibre and wireless. Infrastructure-based competition in the FttX market is increasing as STC competes against deployments by alternative fixed line operator Etihad Atheeb and mobile network operator Mobily, with end users able to access speeds of up to 1Gb/s.
Faster speeds and increasingly affordable broadband access has fostered development of a digital economy, encompassing government services (e-government), e-health, e-education and e-commerce.
The Ministry of Health has devised a 10 year e-health strategy with a road map of specific projects to fulfil strategic objectives. E-education holds much promise given Saudi Arabia’s young population and its desire to diversify and develop a knowledge-based economy. From its 2013 budget the government allocated SR204 billion to education, 25% of its entire budget and the single largest spending item. E-commerce holds much promise given demographic and economic factors but faces the challenges of access to payment gateways, lack of clear regulations, cultural, trust and privacy issues.
Digital media development in Saudi Arabia is underpinned by high broadband penetration, a young population and cultural factors such as the lack of movie theatres. Nearly half all estimated Internet users watch online videos daily.
Four mobile network operators and availability of mobile number portability underpins intense mobile competition. All three GSM/WCDMA based operators have launched LTE networks and have shifted focus towards expanding coverage and improving the quality of services. Mobile Internet and broadband subscription levels indicate widespread acceptance, with over a third of the population subscribing to such services.
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;
- 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;