Saudi Arabia retained its status as the most competitive Arab cellular market with a 74.56 percent mark, the 2012 Cellular Competition Intensity Index revealed. Jordan came in second at 70.67 percent, followed by Palestine at 70.43 percent."Saudi Arabia hosts four operational and licensed operators. Consumers have a choice of 24 prepaid plans and 26 postpaid plans. Saudi Arabia's score benefited from the availability of smart phone plans, corporate offers, 3G services and ILD competition," Mohammed Al-Shawwa, Arab Advisors Group Senior Research Analyst noted.
The Cellular Competition Intensity Index is relative in nature as it compares the state of every market relative to other markets. As such, even if a market's absolute level of competition improved, its score in this relative index will also depend on how other markets developed.The 2012 index results revealed that four countries ranked higher than their April 2011 index ranks, these are: Egypt, Sudan, UAE and Lebanon. Moreover, a total of four countries ranked lower compared to the April 2011 index, namely: Oman, Yemen, Qatar and Libya. The remaining eleven countries of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Iraq, Tunisia, Bahrain, Algeria, Mauritania, Kuwait and Syria maintained their April 2011 ranks.
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 index takes into account the number of operators, packages, and services available in each of the 19 countries covered by the Group. Each category was assigned a certain weight according to its importance as an indicator of competition. The categories include, among others, number of licensed and expected operators in 2012 and number of working operators. – SG market share of largest operator, number of prepaid plans, number of postpaid plans, availability of smart phone plans, availability of corporate offers, availability of 3G services and the availability of operational ILD (international long distance) competition.
The Saudi Gazette