Saudi Arabia remained the most competitive cellular market in the Arab World for the year 2012 followed by Jordan and Palestine, respectively, a report released by The Arab Advisors Group on Cellular Competition Intensity Index 2012 said.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia topped the list of most competitive Arab cellular market with 74.56 percent mark, followed by Jordan (70.67 percent), Palestine (70.43 percent), Egypt (67.86 percent ), Oman (67.01 percent), Morocco (64.20 percent), Iraq (62.45 percent), Tunisia (61.13 percent), Bahrain (61.01 percent), Algeria (58.91 percent), Sudan (56.72 percent), Mauritania (55.63 percent), Yemen (55.19 percent), Kuwait (52.58 percent), UAE (49.01 percent), Qatar (47.14 percent), Syria (39.75 percent), Lebanon (38.84 percent) and Libya (32.68 percent).
The Arab Advisors Group's competition index compares the state of every market in the Arab world relative to other markets.
The index also takes into account the number of operators, packages, and services available in each of the 19 countries covered by the Arab Advisors Group. Each category was assigned a certain weight according to its importance as an indicator of competition.
The categories include the following: number of licensed and expected operators in 2012, number of working operators, market share of largest operator, number of prepaid plans, number of postpaid plans, availability of smart phone plans, availability of corporate offers and other related technical services.
According to a report recently issued by Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), the number of subscriber to mobile telecom services in Saudi market stood at 53.7 million by the end of 2011 where prepaid customers accounted for 87% of overall subscribers.
The rate of mobile telecom penetration among the population was about 188% and predicted to continue growth and maintain a positive trend in the coming years, the report said.
Revenues of mobile communication services accounted for 80% of the total revenues of telecom sector in the Kingdom while fixed telephone and data services took the remaining 20% of the revenues. Saudi telecom companies earned SR 65 billion from their operations at the end of 2011, the report said.
According to CITC's estimates, the volume of spending on telecommunication and IT sector reached SR 83 billion in 2011 compared with SR 21 billion in 2002, at an annual average growth rate of 14%, where the IT sector captured 30% of total spending, mostly dedicated for hardware and IT services.