Saudi Arabia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Fibre broadband services are to be extended in Saudi Arabia
Fibre broadband services offered in Saudi Arabia will be extended after an infrastructure sharing agreement was established in 2019; allowing Zain Saudi Arabia to utilise the infrastructure of Saudi Telecom Company (STC). Broadband is widely available in Saudi Arabia via DSL, fibre, and wireless and Saudi Arabia is considered a regional leader in terms of its fibre-based broadband deployment.
In 2019 DSL subscriptions continue to decline as consumers switch to mobile broadband or fibre broadband services. Subscriptions to DSL have now dropped below 1 million for the first time in more than a decade.
Mobile penetration is high in Saudi Arabia and the market is heavily saturated. This offers great potential for mobile commerce due to the uptake of mobile broadband services and adoption of smart phones. Mobile broadband subscriptions may pass 100% penetration in 2019.
While the introduction of a biometric fingerprint mobile identification system initially impacted upon mobile subscription growth in Saudi Arabia; there is evidence in 2019 that growth is now rebounding with mobile subscriptions demonstrating growth again.
5G is firmly on the agenda for Saudi Arabia with the regulator awarding new spectrum for 4G/5G use in early 2019. STC, Zain Saudi Arabia and Mobily have all developed various partnerships with solution providers in order to improve, test and prepare their networks for 5G.
This valuable report provides analyses, information, industry statistics and insights in the major players in Saudi Arabia’s progressive telecoms sector.
Competition in the fixed market may increase in Saudi Arabia with Universal Licenses having been awarded to some mobile operators.
Saudi Arabia is expected to be one of the key growth markets for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Middle East.
In 2019 Saudi Arabia is trialling blockchain technology.
The finger-printing regulation for all mobile subscribers initially impacted upon the mobile sector in terms of both subscribers and revenue.
Saudi Arabia is implementing strategies as part of its goals outlined for its 2020 National Transformation Plan as well as 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
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
Telecom sector liberalisation
Data service provider licences
New satellite broadband license
Interconnect and access
Number Portability (NP)
Fixed network operators in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
Integrated Telecom Company (ITC)
GO Telecom (Etihad Atheeb)
Overview of the national telecom network
Alternative operators’ infrastructure
International infrastructure (satellite, submarine)
Terrestrial cable networks
Submarine cable networks
Data centres, cloud computing
Broadband access market
Introduction and statistical overview
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
Other fixed broadband services
Mobile broadband statistics
Award of second GSM mobile licence
iDEN contract awarded
Award of Third Generation (3G) licences
Award of third mobile licence
Mobile license extensions 2016
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
Major mobile operators
Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
Mobily (Etihad Etisalat)
Mobile content and applications
M-banking and m-payments
List of Tables
Table 1 – Top-level country statistics and regulatory authorities – Saudi Arabia – 2019
Table 2 – Saudi Arabia – GDP and inflation – 2012 – 2019
Table 3 – Saudi Arabia – mobile, fixed-line and total telecoms revenue of service providers – 2001 – 2016
Table 4 – Fixed telephone teledensity and mobile subscriber penetration – 2012 – 2019
Table 5 – STC Group revenue and profit – 2005 – 2018
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