Saudi Arabia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Saudi Arabia tenders out two new MVNO licenses in 2020
Saudi Arabia offers one of the most progressive telecoms markets in the Middle East and is well positioned to capitalise on the potential opportunities offered by 5G. Mobile penetration is considered high in and the market is heavily saturated, with a large number of mobile broadband users.
The mobile operators are very competitive and comprise of Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Mobily and Zain KSA - as well as MVNOs. Competition will increase further with two new MVNO licenses offered for tender by the Regulator in 2020.
Recently the operators have been exploring ways to monetise the thousands of mobile towers spread throughout Saudi Arabia. In 2019 STC established a subsidiary to manage its tower infrastructure, called TAWAL.
5G is firmly on the agenda for Saudi Arabia with the regulator awarding new spectrum for 4G/5G use in early 2019. STC, Zain KSA and Mobily have all developed various 5G partnerships with solution providers like Huawei, Nokia, Cisco and Ericsson and the three operators have launched preliminary services.
While Saudi Arabia’s fixed broadband penetration is considered low on a global scale; there has been significant work towards developing fibre-based networks instead of DSL, which still comprise the largest market share.
This valuable BuddeComm report provides analyses, information, industry statistics and insights into in Saudi Arabia’s progressive telecoms sector.
Kylie Wansink, BuddeComm, February 2020.
In mid-2019 both STC and Zain KSA launched their first 5G networks.
Zain KSA announced in late 2019 that it was going to offer commercial 5G network roaming services between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Universal Services Licenses have been awarded in Saudi Arabia.
An infrastructure sharing agreement was established in 2019; allowing Zain KSA to utilise the fibre-based infrastructure of Saudi Telecom Company (STC).
Saudi Arabia is implementing strategies as part of its the Vision 2030 program.
Companies mentioned in this report include:
Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Integrated Telecom Company (ITC), GO Telecom/Etihad Atheeb, Mobily/Ettihad Etisalat/Bayanat Al-Oula, Zain KSA, Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia, Arabsat.
Table of Contents
Regional Middle East Market Comparison
Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
Fixed and mobile broadband penetration
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
Telecom sector liberalisation
Interconnect and access
Number Portability (NP)
Mobile network developments
Mobile broadband statistics
4G (LTE, LTE-A)
Major mobile operators
Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
Mobily (Etihad Etisalat)
Mobile content and applications
M-banking and m-payments
Fixed-line broadband market
Fixed broadband statistics
Fixed-line broadband technologies
Integrated Telecom Company (ITC)
Fixed network operators
Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
Overview of the national telecom network
International infrastructure (satellite, submarine)
Terrestrial cable networks
Submarine cable networks
Data centres, cloud computing
Appendix – Historic data
List of Tables
Table 1 – Top-level country statistics and regulatory authorities – Saudi Arabia – 2020
Table 2 – Saudi Arabia – GDP and inflation – 2014 – 2019
Table 3 – Saudi Arabia – mobile, fixed-line and total telecoms revenue of service providers – 2010 – 2016
Table 4 – Saudi Arabia - mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
Table 5 – Saudi Arabia - major mobile operators’ market share – 2005 – 2018
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