Kuwait - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Telecoms sector becomes increasingly important to Kuwait’s economy

Kuwait offers a dynamic telecoms sector with a strong bias towards mobile infrastructure and services. The country offers opportunities due to its high penetration of mobile and vast LTE coverage - combined with an emerging mobile content and services sector.

The mobile operators in Kuwait are forging ahead and developing both infrastructure and services, with the three major operators of Zain Kuwait, VIVA and Ooredoo all offering LTE services as well as exploring 5G opportunities. In March 2017 Zain Kuwait and VIVA, in conjunction with Huawei and GSMA, successfully launched a VoLTE interconnection in Kuwait.

Kuwait has demonstrated strong growth in Internet users due primarily to the high ownership of smart phones amongst the population as well as a large number of households with access to either a computer or tablet.

The telecoms sector is growing in importance in Kuwait as the country looks to diversify its economy from its reliance on oil. The National Bank of Kuwait recently detected a year-on-year growth in profit contributed by the telecom sector.

Key developments:

• 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 and in 2017 continues to establish its role.

• Kuwait is connected to 7 key international submarine cables.

Companies mentioned in this report include:

Ministry of Communications, Qualitynet, Orbit Showtime Network (OSN), KIPCO, Mobile Telecommunications Co (MTC) / Zain, Ooredoo Kuwait, Kuwait Telecom Company (KTC) / Viva, FASTtelco, CITRA.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
    • 2.1 Country overview
  • 3. Telecommunications market
    • 3.1 Overview
    • 3.2 Market analysis
  • 4. Regulatory environment
    • 4.1 Historic overview
    • 4.2 Regulatory authority
    • 4.3 Privatisation
  • 5. Fixed network operators
    • 5.1 Ministry of Communications
  • 6. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 6.1 National telecom network
    • 6.2 Fibre networks
    • 6.3 International infrastructure
      • 6.3.1 Submarine cable networks
      • 6.3.2 Satellite communication
  • 7. Smart infrastructure
    • 7.1 Smart grids
  • 8. Broadband access market
  • 9. Introduction and statistical overview
    • 9.1 Market analysis
    • 9.2 Broadband statistics
    • 9.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 9.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
    • 9.5 Other fixed broadband services
      • 9.5.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
  • 10. Digital economy
    • 10.1 e-Commerce
      • 10.1.1 Start-ups
    • 10.2 e-Banking
    • 10.3 e-Government
    • 10.4 e-Health
    • 10.5 e-Education
  • 11. Digital media
    • 11.1 Digital advertising in the Middle East
    • 11.2 Videostreaming
    • 11.3 Social media
    • 11.4 VoIP
    • 11.5 Music
    • 11.6 On line gaming and gambling
  • 12. Mobile communications
    • 12.1 Market analysis
      • 12.1.1 Mobile statistics
    • 12.2 Mobile voice services
      • 12.2.1 Prepaid
      • 12.2.2 Satellite mobile
    • 12.3 Mobile broadband statistics
    • 12.4 Regulatory issues
      • 12.4.1 Third mobile operator
      • 12.4.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 12.4.3 Roaming tariff reduction
      • 12.4.4 Spectrum refarming for LTE
  • 13. Mobile infrastructure
    • 13.1 Analogue networks
    • 13.2 Digital networks
      • 13.2.1 GSM, 3G
      • 13.2.2 LTE, LTE-A
    • 13.3 5G
    • 13.4 Other infrastructure developments
      • 13.4.1 VoLTE
    • 13.5 IoT and M2M networks
  • 14. Major mobile operators
    • 14.1 Zain Kuwait
      • 14.1.1 International expansion
    • 14.2 Ooredoo Kuwait
    • 14.3 Viva
  • 15. Mobile content and applications
    • 15.1 SMS and MMS
    • 15.2 OTT messaging services
    • 15.3 m-TV
    • 15.4 m-advertising
    • 15.5 m-banking
  • 16. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics - Kuwait – 2017
  • Table 2 – Telecom services profit – Q1 2017
  • Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – 2017
  • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2017
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2017
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 7 – GDP growth and inflation – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2017
  • Table 9 – Kuwait - Internet pricing guide - 2016
  • Table 10 – Top six countries – broadband basket pricing comparison - 2014
  • Table 11 – Internet users and penetration – 1995 - 2017
  • Table 12 – Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration - 2006 - 2017
  • Table 13 –Kuwait fiber connections – 2015; 2019
  • Table 14 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2004
  • Table 15 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 16 – Mobile operators’ market share – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 17 – Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – 2016
  • Table 18 – Zain and Ooredoo – prepaid share – 2005 - 2015
  • Table 19 - Kuwait - active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2015 – 2017
  • Table 20 - Zain Group subscribers, revenue and profit – 2002 – 2016
  • Table 21 – Zain Kuwait revenue, income, ARPU and subscribers – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 22 – Ooredoo Kuwait financial data – 2009 - 2015
  • Table 23 – Ooredoo Kuwait financial data – 2016; Q1 2017
  • Table 24 - Viva revenue, net profit, EBITDA, and subscribers – 2009 – Q1 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO)
  • Exhibit 2 – New regulator for Kuwait seen as a positive step
  • Exhibit 3 – Middle East offers online advertising potential

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