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4G Commercial Strategies in Africa and the Middle East

Published By :

Pyramid Research

Published Date : Feb 2016

Category :


No. of Pages : 38 Pages

Availability of 4G services has been increasing rapidly over the past few years across Africa and the Middle East (AME). This follows significant research, scoping and lobbying efforts by operators on issues such as spectrum allocations and the viability of 4G services in the local market. Such operators have or will use a variety of commercialization strategies determined by market demographics for client segmentation, suitable devices, appropriate pricing strategies, effective promotional campaigns to raise awareness and optimal use of distribution networks. As a result, over the next five years, growth in 4G subscriptions will largely be driven by continued adoption across Middle Eastern countries (e.g., Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar) and in relatively developed African telecoms markets, such as South Africa and Nigeria. In less developed markets such as Democratic Republic of Congo, 4G network rollout will be selective with initial rollout expected in high population density areas

Key Findings

  • In the MENA region, operators are increasingly developing online stores and marketing OTT services through OTT partnerships to increase 4G-compatible smartphones and increase data bundle adoption. In sub-Saharan Africa, operators largely rely on informal distribution networks to reach their addressable market and offer promotional data bundles for specific services (e.g., social network data bundles), this will support 4G uptake over the next five years.
  • In the battle for market share, the success of an operator to acquire 4G subscriptions in AME is also dependent on marketing their unique selling points and service strengths.
  • For example, incumbents with large networks market their quality of service capabilities (e.g., Turk Telekom), while operators with lower market share in terms of subscribers can promote their value-for money focus (e.g., MTN South Africa).
  • Operators across AME are however facing a number of challenges related to their 4G strategies. Key challenges, particularly in several African markets, include the high cost of network rollouts. While in more developed telecoms markets in terms of smartphone adoption, such as the GCC, operators are increasingly concerned with spectrum allocations to deliver 4G speeds and coverage effectively.


4G Commercial Strategies in Africa and the Middle East report provides an overview of the variety of commercialization strategies operators have adopted in AME, including analysis of the major components.

It consists of:

  • Overview of 4G market trends in AME and factors including adoption, smartphone sales and frequency spectrum usage.
  • Overview of the key components of mobile 4G commercialization strategies covering client segmentation, products, pricing, promotion and distribution strategies.
  • Analysis and overview of select operators in AME which have or will launch mobile 4G services.
  • Key findings from commercialization strategies in the region and a set of recommendations for telecom operators and network vendors.


  • Gain understanding of successful 4G commercial strategies utilized by telcos in key AME markets. Align product portfolios by selecting suitable commercial strategies needed to ensure the optimal up-take of 4G services in the local market.
  • Quicken the decision-making process by understanding the strategies which underpin commercial 4G strategies in terms of client segmentation, products, pricing, promotion and distribution.
  • Gain understanding of the competitive landscape, to strengthen your positioning in the market versus operators.

Table of Contents

Executive summary

Mobile subscriptions by technology in AME
4G market trend in AME
Smartphone sales in AME
Frequency spectrum and 4G in AME
Mobile 4G service availability across AME
4G commercial strategies overview
Client segmentation
Case studies
Zain Saudi Arabia
Turk Telekom
MTN South Africa
Maroc Telecom
Key findings and recommendations

Appendix: Acronyms and definitions

List of Table


List of Chart

Exhibit 1: Mobile subscriptions by Technology, AME
Exhibit 2: 4G Subscription Penetration of Population, 2015-2020
Exhibit 3: Key Challenges For 4G Operators in AME
Exhibit 4: Total Mobile Handset Sales in AME, 2014-2020
Exhibit 5: Mobile Handset Sales Distribution in AME, 2014-2020
Exhibit 6: 4G Spectrum Features
Exhibit 7: 4G Spectrum Allocations in AME Countries
Exhibit 8: Mobile 4G Availability in AME, January 2016
Exhibit 9: 4G Commercialization Strategies Components
Exhibit 10: AME Demographics, 2014
Exhibit 11: GDP Per Capita (PPP-Adjusted), 2014-2020
Exhibit 12: Client Segmentation Examples With Accompanying Services
Exhibit 13: INWI Morocco Starter Pack Promotions
Exhibit 14: DU UAE 4G Data Bundle Recommendations
Exhibit 15: Pricing Strategies
Exhibit 16: Price Comparisons For 4G and Fixed Broadband Services in AME
Exhibit 17: Key Questions to Answer in 4G Promotion Campaigns
Exhibit 18: Popular Distribution Channels According To Market Maturity
Exhibit 19: Saudi Arabia Mobile Market Context
Exhibit 20: Zain Saudi Arabias Data Bundle (SIM-only) Per Gb Price Comparison To Local Competitors*, 2016
Exhibit 21: Zain Saudi Arabias VAS/OTT Offers, 2016
Exhibit 22: Zain Online Account, 2016
Exhibit 23: Turkey Mobile Market Context
Exhibit 24: Turk Telekom Own-brand 4G Smartphone (TT175) Specifications
Exhibit 25: Turk Telekom 4G Promotional Campaign
Exhibit 26: Turk Telekom 4G SIM Card Offer
Exhibit 27: South Africa Mobile Market Context
Exhibit 28: MTNS Perfect For LTE Bundles, 2016
Exhibit 29: MTNS Data Bundles Variety, 2016
Exhibit 30: MTNs 4G Network Coverage, 2016
Exhibit 31: Morocco Mobile Market Context
Exhibit 32: Maroc Telecom Postpaid Dedicated Mobile Internet 4G Packages, 2016
Exhibit 33: Maroc Telecom ICFLIX Offer, 2016
Exhibit 34: Maroc Telecom 4G Promotional Website

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