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.

Recent developments:

  • 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

  • Key statistics

    • Country overview
  • Regional Middle East Market Comparison

    • Introduction
    • Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
    • Fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Telecommunications market

    • Market overview
    • Market analysis
      • Universal Licenses
      • Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
  • Regulatory environment

    • Historic overview
    • Regulatory authority
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
    • Fixed-line developments
      • Licenses
      • Interconnect and access
      • Number Portability (NP)
      • Universal service
    • Mobile network developments
      • Licenses
      • Roaming
      • MTRs
      • Fingerprinting law
      • Spectrum
  • Mobile communications

    • Market overview
      • Historical overview
    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
      • General statistics
      • Mobile voice
      • Mobile data
    • Mobile broadband statistics
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • Tower sharing
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE, LTE-A)
      • 3G
      • Satellite mobile
    • Major mobile operators
      • Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
      • Mobily (Etihad Etisalat)
      • Zain KSA
    • Mobile content and applications
      • M-banking and m-payments
  • Fixed-line broadband market

    • Market overview
      • Historical overview
      • Market analysis
      • Fixed broadband statistics
    • Fixed-line broadband technologies
    • Integrated Telecom Company (ITC)
  • Fixed network operators

    • Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • International infrastructure (satellite, submarine)
      • Terrestrial cable networks
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
    • Smart infrastructure
      • Data centres, cloud computing
      • Blockchain
      • Artificial Intelligence
      • Smart grids
      • Smart cities
  • Appendix – Historic data

  • Related Reports


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
  • Table 6 – Saudi Arabia – prepaid subscribers – 2002 – Q3 2018
  • Table 7 – Saudi Arabia – active mobile broadband subscriptions and penetration – 2010 – 2024
  • Table 8 – Mobily revenue and mobile subscribers – 2006 – 1H 2019
  • Table 9 – Zain KSA customers, revenue, EBITDA – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 10 – Saudi Arabia - fixed broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2024
  • Table 11 – Saudi Arabia - fixed broadband subscriptions – technologies and penetration – 2010 – Q3 2018
  • Table 12 – STC Group revenue and profit – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 13 – Saudi Arabia – fixed-lines in service and teledensity – 2010 – 2020
  • Table 14 – Saudi Arabia – International Internet bandwidth – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 15 – Historic - Saudi Arabia - fixed lines in service - 1995 – 2009
  • Table 16 – Historic - Saudi Arabia – mobile, fixed-line and total telecoms revenue of service providers – 2001 – 2009
  • Table 17 –Historic - mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 – 2008

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Middle East – mobile subscriber and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 2 – Middle East – fixed and mobile broadband subscriber penetration
  • Chart 3 – Saudi Arabia – mobile subscriptions and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 4 – Saudi Arabia – major mobile operators market share - 2018
  • Chart 5 – Saudi Arabia – mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Historical – Bravo acquisition
  • Exhibit 2 – Submarine cables in-service in Saudi Arabia

Related Reports

Purchase this Report

USD 750.00

Licence Information

Share this Report

Purchase with Confidence

Could I thank you for making a contribution to this on so many occasions and declare my association with you as a Central Coast resident. I want to say how proud we are of you and how much your expertise has informed us.

Senator Deborah O’Neill, at the Select Senate Committee on the NBN – March 2014

Sample Reports

A selection of downloadable samples from our Annual Publications catalogue.


Download a Sample Report

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.