Saudi Arabia will invest up to SR37 billion ($9.85 billion) in its telecom sector this year alone, with future forecasts predicting investments of up to SR50 billion ($13.3 billion) by 2015, putting growth rates at more than the rest of the GCC telecom markets combined.
Being the largest telecom market in the GCC, Saudi Arabia accounts for 66 percent of total mobile subscribers, 59 percent of total fixed-line connections and 58 percent of total Internet users.
Despite this, only 38 percent of the Kingdom's population is connected to the Internet.
Presently among the most sought-after information concerning the Saudi telecom industry is broadband technology. According to a report issued by NCB Capital, growth in the telecom sector is mainly focused on broadband, representing a huge opportunity for potential service providers.
NCB Capital believes the telecom sector has strong growth potential with the outlook for broadband remaining stable with lower costs on handsets expected to increase penetration rates.
The latest CITC figures indicate that broadband penetration reached almost 40 percent in the third-quarter of 2012 or 11.73 million users due to the expanded use of smart phones and offerings of various data packages by mobile operators.
Fixed broadband subscriptions including DSL, fixed wireless (WiMAX), FITx and other fixed lines have also grown during the same period to around 2.25 million subscribers at a penetration rate of 36.5 percent of households Kingdom-wide.
The Saudi Gazette