Middle East - Fixed Broadband Market

Publication Overview

This valuable report on the fixed broadband sector in the Middle East provides information on trends and developments in this increasingly proactive region. A number of drivers are leading to investment in fixed broadband for many Middle Eastern markets including the economic benefits associated with high-speed infrastructure. This report provides key information and statistics on the fixed broadband market for the Middle East. Included in the report are the following countries: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Researcher:- Kylie Wansink
Current publication date:- December 2016 (2nd Edition)

Executive Summary

Fixed broadband deployment still gaining ground in in the Middle East

Many countries from the Middle Eastern region are aware that fixed broadband infrastructure is important for economic growth and keeping pace with technological advancements. While mobile broadband is often the leading access technology in many markets – there are still enormous investment in fixed broadband infrastructure taking place.

Bahrain has always been at the forefront of Internet penetration in the region and since the introduction of greater competition, and the consequent fall in prices, subscriber numbers have grown even more rapidly. Broadband services are now ubiquitous, with dial-up subscribers negligible. Infrastructure-based competition has been essential to growth and ADSL was once the dominant means of broadband access prior to widespread adoption of mobile broadband. 

In 2016 Israel also boasts high broadband penetration. Services are accessible via ADSL, cable, and fibre optic platforms, as well as wireless broadband. Increasing availability of fibre due to capital expenditure has resulted in increased average speeds. There are two other competing infrastructures – the DSL network of fixed-line incumbent Bezeq and the digital cable network of HOT. The broadband market in the UAE is also one of the most advanced both regionally and globally.

In contrast, Lebanon has trailed behind other countries in the region in almost all aspects of broadband networks and services, however this is slowly changing. The renewed focus on building fibre networks as part of “Telecom Vision 2020” should see Lebanon’s broadband sector improve significantly in the next few years.

The international community has also identified Iran as lagging behind in terms of broadband infrastructure and access, particularly when compared to other GCC member states. However, in recent years fixed broadband penetration reached a milestone by climbing to above 10%.

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.

Smart city developments are driving broadband deployments in many countries. Saudi Arabia, for example, has an ambitious Smart City project underway named King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), which will house around 2 million people and is expected to be completed by 2035. Qatar also has its sights firmly set on being a Smart City of the future and the hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2022 is attributing to the fast development of smart infrastructure initiatives.

National Broadband Network (NBNs) deployment is considered an important step towards laying the foundation for smart cities. The deployment of the national broadband network in Jordan, for example, is underway with the project now focusing on connecting the Northern governates via public facilities. Funding for the NBN has been assisted by a Gulf Co-operation Council grant.

As part of Oman’s National Broadband Strategy, Oman Broadband Company (OBC) has enabled access to fibre networks for around 60,000 residential and commercial businesses around Muscat. Qatar has also embarked on developing a national fibre-based access network, known as QNBN.

In 2016 Turkey, has become a market to watch with fixed broadband services based on fibre quickly growing and subscriber numbers climbing three-fold since 2013.

While mobile broadband is still the leading technology in the Middle East, fixed broadband services are still considered to be an important infrastructure with many countries making great strides to improve penetration and deployment.

Key developments:

  • Recognising the socioeconomic advantages of a connected society, Bahrain has deployed its own National Broadband Network (NBN), using infrastructure from the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA).
  • In 2016 Bezeq from Israel is embarking on a large G.fast network access deployment for its fixed broadband network.
  • ADSL accounts for the majority of fixed broadband subscriptions in Lebanon.
  • Growth in ICT spending is expected to increase in Saudi Arabia, driven by strong demand for smartphones and high-speed networks. Underpinning future growth is also a government that regards ICT industry development as a national priority.
  • Since 2010, fibre broadband has become the fastest growing technology in the UAE, with a growing proportion of the market subscribing to FttH.
  • Etisalat and Du reached a fixed network sharing agreement in late 2015 which will see them share the UAE’s fibre network.
  • The Iran government’s fifth economic development plan called for the establishment of a fibre-based national broadband network (NBN).
  • While funding issues have stopped the NBN project in Jordan a number of times; in 2016 it is around 35% completed.
  • In 2016 a new broadband operator, Awasr-Oman, launched in Oman (Muscat) using the OBC fibre network.
  • Fixed broadband is still an emerging area in Syria that will benefit greatly once the country stabilises.
  • Yemen is currently an unpredictable market that faces serious civic issues. The recent conflict has put a halt on much of the progress for telecoms for the time being.
  • The fixed telecoms sector has plateaued in Iraq with little investment or interest in developing it at this point.
  • There are now over 1.8 million fibre broadband subscribers across Turkey.

Companies mentioned in this report

Etisalat, du; TeleYemen, Public Telecommunications Corporation (PTC); Ooredoo Qatar, Vodafone Qatar, Qatar National Broadband Network (QNBN); STC, Go Telecom, Mobily; Turk Telekom, Superonline, Superonline, Vodafone Turkey; Bezeq, HOT Telecom, 013 NetVision, 012 Smile Telecom, Xfone 018; Ogero Telecom, Cable One, Cedarcom, GlobalCom Data Services (GDS), Pesco Telecom, Sodetel, IDM/Cyberia, TerraNet, Lebanese Broadband Stakeholders Group (LBSG); STE; ITPC, URUKLINK, Newroz,IQ Networks; Orange Jordan; Omantel, Oman Broadband Company (OBC); Kuwait Ministry of Communications (MoC), Qualitynet, Zajil KEMS, FASTtelco, Gulfnet; Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), Iranian-net; 2Connect, Batelco, Etisalcom, Kalaam Telecoms, Lightspeed, Mena Telecoms, Nuetel Communications, Rapid Telecoms, Zain Bahrain.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Regional overview – fixed broadband market
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 Bahrain
    • 1.3 Israel
    • 1.4 Lebanon
      • 1.4.1 Telecom Vision 2020
    • 1.5 Saudi Arabia
    • 1.6 United Arab Emirates
    • 1.7 Iran
    • 1.8 Jordan
    • 1.9 Oman
    • 1.10 Syria
    • 1.11 Yemen
    • 1.12 Iraq
    • 1.13 Kuwait
    • 1.14 Qatar
    • 1.15 Turkey
  • 2. Bahrain
    • 2.1 Market analysis
    • 2.2 Broadband statistics
    • 2.3 Broadband subscriber forecasts
      • 2.3.1 Scenario 1 – higher growth
      • 2.3.2 Scenario 2 – lower growth
    • 2.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
      • 2.4.1 National Broadband Network (NBN)
    • 2.5 Other fixed broadband services
      • 2.5.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
      • 2.5.2 iBurst
  • 3. Iran
    • 3.1 Market analysis
      • 3.1.1 Censorship
    • 3.2 Broadband statistics
      • 3.2.1 Forecasts – broadband subscribers
    • 3.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 3.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
    • 3.5 Other fixed broadband services
      • 3.5.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
    • 3.6 Competition issues
      • 3.6.1 ISP market
  • 4. Iraq
    • 4.1 Overview
      • 4.1.1 Internet statistics
    • 4.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
    • 4.3 Satellite broadband
    • 4.4 Other fixed broadband services
      • 4.4.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
  • 5. Israel
    • 5.1 Market analysis
    • 5.2 Broadband statistics
    • 5.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and cable networks
      • 5.3.1 Introduction
    • 5.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
      • 5.4.1 Introduction
      • 5.4.2 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
    • 5.5 Competition issues
      • 5.5.1 Wholesale
  • 6. Jordan
    • 6.1 Market analysis
    • 6.2 Broadband statistics
      • 6.2.1 Forecasts – broadband subscribers
    • 6.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 6.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
    • 6.5 Other fixed broadband services
      • 6.5.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
    • 6.6 Competition issues
      • 6.6.1 ISP market
  • 7. Kuwait
    • 7.1 Market analysis
    • 7.2 Broadband statistics
    • 7.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 7.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
    • 7.5 Other fixed broadband services
      • 7.5.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
  • 8. Lebanon
    • 8.1 Market analysis
    • 8.2 Broadband statistics
      • 8.2.1 Broadband subscriber forecasts
    • 8.3 Competition issues
      • 8.3.1 Data service providers
      • 8.3.2 ISP market
    • 8.4 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 8.5 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
    • 8.6 Other fixed broadband services
      • 8.6.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
      • 8.6.2 Internet via satellite (Ku band services)
  • 9. Oman
    • 9.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 9.1.1 Internet and broadband statistics
    • 9.2 Fibre to the Home (FttH)
    • 9.3 Wireless broadband
      • 9.3.1 WiFi
      • 9.3.2 WiMAX
  • 10. Qatar
    • 10.1 Market analysis
    • 10.2 Broadband statistics
    • 10.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 10.4 Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) and Fibre-to-the-home (FttH)
      • 10.4.1 Qatar National Broadband Network (QNBN)
      • 10.4.2 Vodafone Qatar
      • 10.4.3 Ooredoo
    • 10.5 Wireless Broadband
      • 10.5.1 WiFi
  • 11. Saudi Arabia
    • 11.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 11.1.1 Censorship
    • 11.2 Broadband statistics
      • 11.2.1 Forecasts – mobile broadband subscribers – 2015; 2017; 2020
    • 11.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 11.3.1 Introduction
    • 11.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
      • 11.4.1 Introduction
      • 11.4.2 STC
      • 11.4.3 GO Telecom
      • 11.4.4 Mobily
    • 11.5 Other fixed broadband services
      • 11.5.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
  • 12. Syria
    • 12.1 Market analysis
      • 12.1.1 ISP market
    • 12.2 Broadband statistics
    • 12.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
  • 13. Turkey
    • 13.1 Market analysis
    • 13.2 Broadband statistics
    • 13.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 13.4 Cable modems
    • 13.5 Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FttC) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
      • 13.5.1 Turk Telekom
      • 13.5.2 Superonline
  • 14. United Arab Emirates
    • 14.1 Market analysis
      • 14.1.1 Dubai Internet City (DIC)
      • 14.1.2 Internet cafés
    • 14.2 Broadband statistics
      • 14.2.1 Broadband forecasts
    • 14.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
    • 14.4 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 14.4.1 Other fixed broadband services
      • 14.4.2 Fixed wireless (WiFi, WiMAX)
      • 14.4.3 Internet via satellite
  • 15. Yemen
    • 15.1 Market analysis
    • 15.2 Broadband statistics
    • 15.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 15.4 Other fixed broadband services
      • 15.4.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
      • Table 1 –Middle East - fixed broadband subscribers and penetration by country estimates - 2016
      • Table 2 – Bahrain - Historic - Internet users and penetration estimates - 1995 - 2004
      • Table 3 – Bahrain - Internet users and penetration estimates - 2005 - 2016
      • Table 4 – Bahrain - Fixed and mobile broadband subscribers - 2012 - 2016
      • Table 5 – Bahrain - Broadband sector revenue – 2010 - 2014
      • Table 6 – Bahrain - Forecast broadband subscribers – higher market growth scenario – 2018; 2024
      • Table 7 – Bahrain - Forecast broadband subscribers – lower market growth scenario –2018; 2024
      • Table 8 – Iran - Internet users and penetration estimates – 1996 - 2016
      • Table 9 – Iran - Fixed broadband subscribers – 2006 - 2016
      • Table 10 – Iran - Household PC penetration – 2002 - 2016
      • Table 11 – Iran - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2016, 2019; 2024
      • Table 12 – Iran - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2016, 2019; 2024
      • Table 13 – Irancell WiMAX subscribers – 2012 – 2015
      • Table 14 – Iraq - Internet user penetration and estimates – 2001 - 2016
      • Table 15 – Iraq - International Internet bandwidth – 2005 - 2013
      • Table 16 – Israel - Internet users and penetration – 1997 - 2016
      • Table 17 – Israel - Fixed broadband subscribers – 2001 - 2016
      • Table 18 – Israel - Bezeq ADSL subscribers and ARPU– 2005 - 2014
      • Table 19 – Israel - Average bundled broadband speed per Bezeq customer – 2007 - 2015
      • Table 20 – Israel - PC penetration – 2002 - 2014
      • Table 21 – Israel - International internet bandwidth – 2005 - 2015
      • Table 22 – Jordon - Internet users and penetration rate – 1995 - 2016
      • Table 23 – Jordon - Internet subscribers and penetration rate – 1999 - 2016
      • Table 24 – Jordon - Internet subscribers by access method – 2015
      • Table 25 – Jordon - Forecast broadband subscribers – higher market growth scenario – 2016; 2018; 2022
      • Table 26 – Jordon - Forecast broadband subscribers – lower market growth scenario – 2016; 2018; 2022
      • Table 27 – Jordon - DSL subscribers - 2001 - 2015
      • Table 28 – Kuwait - Internet pricing guide - 2016
      • Table 29 – Top six countries – broadband basket pricing comparison - 2014
      • Table 30 – Kuwait - Internet users and penetration – 1995 - 2016
      • Table 31 – Kuwait - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration - 2006 - 2016
      • Table 32 – Kuwait - Household PC penetration – 2002 - 2015
      • Table 33 – Kuwait - FttH/FttB subscribers and homes passed – September 2015
      • Table 34 – Lebanon - Internet user and penetration estimates – 1995 - 2016
      • Table 35 – Lebanon - broadband subscribers by access technology – 2013; 2015
      • Table 36 – Lebanon - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2002 - 2016
      • Table 37 – Lebanon - Household PC penetration – 2002 - 2016
      • Table 38 – Lebanon - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2019; 2024
      • Table 39 – Lebanon - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2019; 2024
      • Table 40 – Oman - Internet users and penetration – 1998 - 2016
      • Table 41 – Oman - Fixed broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2016
      • Table 42 – Oman - International Internet bandwidth – 2012 - 2015
      • Table 43 – Qatar - Internet penetration – 1995 - 2016
      • Table 44 – Qatar - Fixed broadband subscribers – 2002 - 2016
      • Table 45 – Qatar - Household PC penetration – 2007 - 2015
      • Table 46 – Qatar - International Internet bandwidth – 2003 - 2015
      • Table 47 – Saudi Arabia - Fixed internet users and user penetration – 2005 - 2016
      • Table 48 – Saudi Arabia - Fixed broadband subscriptions – technologies and penetration – 2010 - Q2 2016
      • Table 49 – Saudi Arabia - Fixed and mobile broadband – total and market share – 2002 - 2015
      • Table 50 – Saudi Arabia – household PC penetration – 2002 - 2015
      • Table 51 – Saudi Arabia - Forecast mobile broadband subscriptions – higher growth scenario – 2020; 2025
      • Table 52 – Saudi Arabia - Forecast mobile broadband subscriptions – lower growth scenario – 2020; 2025
      • Table 53 –Syria - Percentage of Internet users – 2010 - 2015
      • Table 54 – Syria - Fixed broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2015
      • Table 55 – Syria - International Internet bandwidth – 2004 - 2015
      • Table 56 – Turkey - Broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2016
      • Table 57 – Turkey - Broadband subscribers by access technology – 2009 – Q1 2016
      • Table 58 – Turkey - ISP market share based on subscribers Q2 2013; Q2 2015; Q1 2016
      • Table 59 - Turkey - Average monthly data usage per Turk Telekom broadband subscriber – 2010 – 2016
      • Table 60 – Turkey - International Internet Bandwidth – 2003 - 2015
      • Table 61 – Turk Telekom Fixed broadband ARPU – 2007 – Q3 2016
      • Table 62 – Turk Telekom fibre subscribers – 2013; Q3 2016
      • Table 63 – Turkey - Superonline FttX subscribers – 2011 – Q3 2015
      • Table 64 – UAE – internet users and penetration – 1995 - 2016
      • Table 65 – UAE – fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2001 - 2016
      • Table 66 – UAE – Etisalat fixed broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2015
      • Table 67 – UAE – international internet bandwidth – 2006 - 2015
      • Table 68 – UAE – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2016, 2020; 2025
      • Table 69 – UAE – Forecast broadband subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2016, 2020; 2025
      • Table 70 – Yemen - Internet user and penetration estimates – 1997 - 2015
      • Table 71 – Yemen - Households with Internet access – 2004 - 2015
      • Table 72 – Yemen - Fixed broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2015
      • Table 73 – Yemen - Household PC penetration – 2005 - 2015
      • Table 74 – Yemen - International Internet bandwidth – 2005 - 2015
      • Chart 1 – Iran - Fixed broadband subscribers and annual growth – 2010 - 2016
      • Chart 2 – UAE – fixed broadband subscribers and annual growth rate – 2010 - 2016

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Number of pages 81

Status Current

Last updated 7 Dec 2016
Update History

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

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