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Middle East - Mobile Network Operators and MVNOs

Published By :

BuddeComm

Published Date : Apr 2018

Category :

Telecommunications

No. of Pages : 129 Pages

Middle East mobile operators begin to see rising data revenues
On a global level, we saw the mobile operators in the developed markets begin international expansion a few years ago, when it became clear that the mobile markets were saturated and revenue growth opportunities were limited. Developing markets like the Middle East were quickly identified as offering room for potential mobile growth as well as infrastructure building opportunities.

In many ways, the Middle East has benefited from this trend with 6 international operators providing services in parts of the region; bringing valuable experience, infrastructure, services, investment and solutions to the region. The Middle East also has 9 dominant domestic players of its own which are competing with these international players.

The operators face many challenges in the Middle East, including the rise of competition; the impact of civil conflict upon the region, difficult topography, variances in regulatory laws and differing economic conditions. The operators also need to keep pace with the rapid rate of development in telecoms on a global level and this requires huge capital expenditure as well as an appropriately skilled workforce.

Many operators are obliged to pay large tax levies and licensing fees depending on the country - and are subject to various regulatory conditions applied across the different markets of the Middle East.

In many cases governments and operators have attempted to curb or stop the disruptive influence of Over-The-Top players; however, this has had limited success as it can be difficult to regulate such prohibitions and citizens often turn to VPN solutions to access such services.

This BuddeComm annual publication provides a country level analyses of 14 mobile markets across the Middle East including Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It includes analyses of each countries’ mobile market, key mobile market statistics and information on the major operators and trends. It also includes mobile subscriber data for the major international and domestic operators.

This annual publication also incorporates BuddeComm’s ‘Middle East Telecoms Maturity Index’ (TMI). This is an index (on a scale between 0% and 100%) which measures and ranks the relative maturity of the telecoms industries in 12 countries in the region (Syria and Yemen have been excluded from the index at this time). The Index has been devised as a tool to compare the different markets easily and uniformly. Countries have been placed into ‘Market Leaders’, ‘Market Challengers’ or ‘Market Laggards’ categories according to their Market Index score. Countries are compared according to a number of parameters with a focus on fixed broadband and mobile broadband penetration. GDP is also included in a number of charts both for illustrative purposes and as a gauge to help decipher market maturity. However, a number of countries low on the Index scale are noted for the considerable effort still required in terms of market investment, regulatory oversight and effective government-sponsored direction. Given the poor condition of the telecoms market in these countries they have not been placed into either category.

Key developments:

  • Many Middle Eastern mobile operators are facing increased challenges in the mobile sector, due primarily to regulatory reforms, liberalisation, Over-The-Top providers, economic and civil conditions, the lifting of sanctions (Iran) and mobile market saturation.
  • The mobile operators have risen to the challenges presented across the various markets. By using methods such as network infrastructure sharing, international expansion, acquisitions and partnerships, cost cutting and service improvements, many of the operators continue to survive and even grow. Focusing on mobile broadband opportunities is becoming particularly beneficial to many operators.


Companies mentioned in this report

Mobile Telecommunications Co (MTC) / Zain, Ooredoo Kuwait (previously National Mobile Telecommunication Co (NMT) / Wataniya Telecom), Kuwait Telecom Company (KTC) / Viva, Batelco, Zain Bahrain, Viva Bahrain, Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), Mobile Communications Iran (MCI), MTN Irancell, Tamin Telecom (Rightel), Mobile Telecommunications Company of Isfahan (MTCE), Telecommunication Kish Company (TKC), Iraqi Telephone and Postal Company (ITPC), Asiacell, Zain Iraq, Korek Telecom, Regional Telecom, Cellcom, Orange (Partner), Pelephone (Bezeq), HOT Mobile, Golan Telecom, Rami Levy, Jordan Telecom Group/Orange, Zain Jordan, Batelco/Umniah, Saudi Telecom Company (STC)/Bravo, Integrated Telecom Company (ITC)/Bayn Consortium, GO Telecom/Etihad Atheeb, Mobily/Ettihad Etisalat/Bayanat Al-Oula, Zain KSA, Lebara KSA/Etihad Jawraa, Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (Virgin Mobile MEA), Axiom Telecom, VIVA, Etisalat, du, Jordan Telecom Group/Orange, Zain Jordan, Batelco/Umniah, MTC Touch, Alfa Telecom, Ooredoo Qatar, Vodafone Qatar, OmanTel, Ooredoo Oman, FRiENDi, Majan Telecom (Renna), Samatel, Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE), MTN Syria, Syriatel, Turkcell, Vodafone Turkey, Avea.

Table of Contents

1. Regional mobile overview

1.1 Rising data revenues
1.2 Opportunities in the enterprise sector
1.3 Infrastructure sharing
1.4 Impact of regional conflict
1.5 SIM registration
1.6 Impact of OTT players
1.7 5G
1.8 Leading mobile operators by country
1.8.1 Major domestic operators
1.8.2 Major international operators
1.9 Middle East Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI)
1.10 Middle East Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI) vs GDP per capita
1.11 Middle East mobile and mobile broadband penetration
1.12 Middle East fixed and mobile broadband penetration
1.13 GCC countries fixed and mobile broadband penetration

2. Bahrain
2.1 Market analysis
2.2 Regulatory issues
2.2.1 Second mobile licence
2.2.2 Third mobile licence
2.2.3 Prepaid subscriber registration
2.2.4 Roaming tariff reduction
2.2.5 MNP
2.3 Major mobile operators
2.3.1 Batelco
2.3.2 Zain Bahrain
2.3.3 Viva Bahrain / STC Bahrain

3. Iran
3.1 Market analysis
3.2 Major mobile operators
3.2.1 MCI (Mobile Communications Iran)/Hamrah-e-Avval
3.2.2 MTN Irancell
3.2.3 Tamin Telecom (Rightel)
3.2.4 Taliya/Rafsanjan Industrial Complex Islamic Cooperative Company (RIC)
3.3 MVNOs

4. Iraq
4.1 Market analysis
4.2 Operator statistics
4.3 Regulatory issues
4.3.1 Temporary mobile licences awarded in 2003
4.3.2 Permanent licences awarded in 2007
4.3.3 Fourth mobile licence
4.4 Major mobile operators
4.4.1 Asiacell Communications (Oooredoo)
4.4.2 Zain Iraq (formerly MTC Atheer)
4.4.3 Korek Telecom
4.4.4 Kurdistan operators

5. Israel
5.1 Market analysis
5.2 Operator statistics
5.3 Regulatory issues
5.3.1 Connection charges
5.3.2 Licensing
5.3.3 LTE Spectrum
5.3.4 Roaming
5.3.5 MTRs
5.3.6 Early termination fee reduction
5.3.7 MNP
5.3.8 Network sharing
5.4 Major mobile operators
5.4.1 Cellcom
5.4.2 Partner Communications Company (formerly Orange)
5.4.3 Pelephone (Bezeq)
5.4.4 HOT Mobile
5.4.5 Golan Telecom (acquired by Electra in 2017)
5.5 MVNOs
5.5.1 Historical background
5.5.2 Recent developments

6. Jordan
6.1 Market analysis
6.2 Operator statistics
6.3 Regulatory issues
6.3.1 Third GSM licence
6.3.2 3G licences
6.3.3 4G spectrum
6.3.4 SIM card registration
6.3.5 MTRs
6.4 Major mobile operators
6.4.1 Zain Jordan
6.4.2 Orange Jordan
6.4.3 Umniah
6.5 MVNOs

7. Kuwait
7.1 Market analysis
7.2 Operator statistics
7.3 Regulatory issues
7.3.1 Third mobile operator
7.3.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
7.3.3 Roaming tariff reduction
7.3.4 Spectrum refarming for LTE
7.4 Major mobile operators
7.4.1 Zain Kuwait
7.4.2 Ooredoo Kuwait
7.4.3 Viva

8. Lebanon
8.1 Market analysis
8.2 Operator statistics
8.3 Major mobile operators
8.3.1 Touch (operated by Zain)
8.3.2 Alfa

9. Oman
9.1 Mobile market analysis
9.2 Operator statistics
9.3 Regulatory issues
9.3.1 Second mobile licence
9.3.2 Third mobile licence
9.3.3 Reseller/MVNO licences
9.3.4 Roaming
9.3.5 MNP
9.4 Major mobile operators
9.4.1 Oman Mobile Telecommunications (OMTC)
9.4.2 Ooredoo Oman
9.5 MVNOs

10. Qatar
10.1 Market analysis
10.2 Operator statistics
10.3 Regulatory issues
10.3.1 Second mobile licence
10.3.2 Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO)
10.3.3 Roaming tariff reduction
10.3.4 NP
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 Ooredoo Qatar
10.4.2 Vodafone Qatar

11. Saudi Arabia
11.1 Market overview
11.2 Market analysis
11.3 Operator statistics
11.4 Regulatory issues
11.4.1 Award of second GSM mobile licence
11.4.2 iDEN contract awarded
11.4.3 Award of Third Generation (3G) licences
11.4.4 Award of third mobile licence
11.4.5 Mobile license extensions 2016
11.4.6 Roaming
11.4.7 MTRs
11.4.8 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
11.4.9 Fingerprinting law
11.5 Major mobile operators
11.5.1 Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
11.5.2 Mobily (Etihad Etisalat)
11.5.3 Zain KSA

12. Syria
12.1 Market analysis
12.2 Regulatory issues
12.2.1 Third mobile licence
12.2.2 Current BOT contracts/Long term free hold licenses
12.3 Major mobile operators
12.3.1 Syriatel
12.3.2 MTN Syria

13. Turkey
13.1 Market analysis
13.2 Regulatory issues
13.2.1 Overview (recent general laws and regulations)
13.2.2 Third Generation (3G) licences
13.2.3 Third and fourth GSM licences
13.2.4 Significant market power (SMP)
13.2.5 MTRs
13.2.6 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
13.2.7 Telsim privatisation
13.3 Major mobile operators
13.3.1 Turkcell
13.3.2 Vodafone Turkey
13.3.3 Turk Telekom (Avea)

14. United Arab Emirates
14.1 Market analysis
14.2 Operator statistics
14.3 Regulatory issues
14.3.1 Roaming tariff reduction
14.3.2 MNP
14.4 Major mobile operators
14.4.1 Etisalat
14.4.2 du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company)
14.5 MVNOs
14.5.1 Virgin Mobile
14.5.2 Swyp

15. Yemen
15.1 Market analysis
15.2 Regulatory issues
15.2.1 GSM licences awarded
15.2.2 Third GSM licence
15.3 Major mobile operators
15.3.1 MTN Yemen
15.3.2 SabaFon
15.3.3 TeleYemen/Yemen Mobile
15.3.4 HiTS Unitel/Y Telecom

List of Table

Table 1 – Middle East – Major domestic operators by subscribers – 2012 – Q3 2017
Table 2 – Middle East – International mobile operators by subscribers – 2012 - 2017
Table 3 – Bahrain - Accepted cumulative mobile number portability requests – 2011 – Q3 2016
Table 4 – Bahrain - Batelco total group mobile subscribers – 2005 – Q3 2017
Table 5 – Zain Bahrain – revenue, EBITDA, CAPEX and ARPU - 2005 – 9M 2017
Table 6 – Iran - Mobile operators market share – 2016; mid 2017
Table 7 – MTN Irancell – Revenue and CAPEX – 2013 - 2016
Table 8 – MTN Irancell – mobile subscribers – 2007 – 2016
Table 9 – Iraq - Mobile operator market shares – 2004 – 2017
Table 10 – Iraq - Asiacell revenue – 2016; 2017
Table 11 – Iraq - Asiacell subscribers – 2006 - 2017
Table 12 – Zain Iraq financial data – 2006 – 2017
Table 13 – Zain Iraq mobile subscribers – 2006 – 2017
Table 14 – Zain Iraq prepaid subscribers – 2009 - 2017
Table 15 – Iraq - Korek Telecom subscribers – 2013 - 2016
Table 16 – Israel - Major mobile operators’ market share by subscribers – 2010 - 2016
Table 17 – Israel - Major mobile operators’ subscribers – 2017
Table 18 – Israel - Major mobile operators’ monthly mobile ARPU – 2013 – Q3 2017
Table 19 – Israel - Cellcom – consolidated revenue and operating profit – 2005 – Q3 2017
Table 20 – Israel - Cellcom – mobile subscribers and ARPU – 2005 – Q3 2017
Table 21 – Israel - Partner – revenue and operating profit – 2005 – Q3 2017
Table 22 – Israel - Partner – mobile subscribers and monthly ARPU – 2005 – Q3 2017
Table 23 – Israel - Pelephone – revenue and operating profit – 2003 – 9M 2017
Table 24 – Israel - Pelephone – mobile subscribers and monthly ARPU – 2005 – Q3 2017
Table 25 – Israel - HOT Mobile – revenue, EBITDA, CAPEX – Q3 2016; 2017
Table 26 – Israel - HOT Mobile – mobile subscribers – 2010 – Q3 2016
Table 27 – Jordan - Major mobile operators’ market share – 2004 – 2016
Table 28 – Jordan - Mobile Termination Rates – 2010 - 2014
Table 29 – Zain Jordan financial data (including ARPU) – 2005 – 2016
Table 30 – Zain Jordan prepaid/postpaid mobile subscribers – 2005 – 1H 2017
Table 31 – Orange Jordan – mobile revenue and subscribers – 2006 - 2016
Table 32 – Jordan - Umniah – mobile subscribers – 2008 - 2016
Table 33 – Kuwait - Mobile operators’ market share – 2005 - 2017
Table 34 – Kuwait - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – 2017
Table 35 – Kuwait - Zain Group subscribers, revenue and profit – 2005 – 2017
Table 36 – Zain Kuwait revenue, income, ARPU and subscribers – 2005 - 2017
Table 37 – Kuwait - Zain – prepaid share – 2005 - 2017
Table 38 – Ooredoo Kuwait financial data and subscribers – 2016; 2017
Table 39 – Kuwait - Viva revenue, net profit, EBITDA, and subscribers – 2012 – 2017
Table 40 – Lebanon - Mobile operators’ market share – 2009 – 2017
Table 41 – Lebanon - Touch mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2017
Table 42 – Lebanon - Alfa – mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2017
Table 43 – Oman - Operators mobile market share by subscribers – 2012 – Q3 2017
Table 44 – Omantel Group revenue by segment – 2012 – Q3 2017
Table 45 – Omantel Oman revenue – 2012 – Q3 2017
Table 46 – Omantel Mobile- mobile subscribers - 2015 - Q2 2016
Table 47 – Ooredoo Oman – total fixed and mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2016
Table 48 – Qatar - Mobile operators’ market share – 2009 - 2015
Table 49 – Ooredoo Qatar revenue and net profit – 2005 – 2017
Table 50 – Vodafone Qatar – financial data – 2009 - 2017
Table 51 – Vodafone Qatar – mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2017
Table 52 – Saudi Arabia - Major mobile operators’ subscribers and market shares – 2005 – Q1 2017
Table 53 – Saudi Arabia - Mobily revenue and mobile subscribers – 2006 – 9M 2017
Table 54 – Saudi Arabia - Zain KSA mobile subscribers and revenue – 2015 – 9M 2017
Table 55 – Syriatel – Revenue – 2008 - 2017
Table 56 – MTN Syria Revenue and CAPEX – 2009 – mid 2016
Table 57 – MTN Syria – Subscribers – 2009 – Q3 2017
Table 58 – Turkey - Mobile operators’ revenue market share by service – Q3 2017
Table 59 – Turkey - Mobile operators’ market share by subscribers – 2007 – Q3 2017
Table 60 – Turkey - Mobile operators’ market share by revenue – Q3 2017
Table 61 – Turkcell group financial data – 2012 – 2017
Table 62 – Turkcell Turkey average monthly blended ARPU – 2007 - 2016
Table 63 – Turkcell Turkey average monthly MOU and mobile churn – 2001 – 2016
Table 64 – Turkcell smartphone penetration – 2012 – 2016
Table 65 – Vodafone Turkey financial data – 2008 - 2017
Table 66 – Historical - Vodafone Turkey pre and post-paid ARPU – 2006 - 2014
Table 67 – Vodafone Turkey smartphone penetration – 2011 - 2015
Table 68 – Turk Telekom mobile revenue – 2007 – Q2 2017
Table 69 – Turk Telekom prepaid, post-paid subscribers and blended ARPU – Q2 2013 - 2017
Table 70 – UAE – mobile operators’ market share by subscribers – 2010 - 2016
Table 71 – Etisalat (UAE) mobile subscribers and blended ARPU – 2011 – 2017
Table 72 – UAE - du mobile revenue – 2009 – 2016
Table 73 – UAE - du mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2017
Table 74 – UAE - du mobile minutes of use (MOU) – 2010 - 2014
Table 75 – MTN Yemen - subscribers, ARPU, and market share – 2009 - 2017
Table 76 – MTN Yemen – revenue and capex – 2014 – 2017
Table 77 – Yemen - SabaFon subscribers – 2004 – 2017 Q2

List of Chart

Chart 1 – Middle East - Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI) - 2017
Chart 2 – Middle East - Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI) vs GDP per capita - 2017
Chart 3 – Middle East – mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration - 2017
Chart 4 – Middle East - fixed broadband penetration versus mobile broadband penetration - 2017
Chart 5 – GCC members – fixed broadband penetration versus mobile broadband penetration - 2017
Chart 6 – Jordan - Mobile operators’ market share at a glance - 2016
Chart 7 – Lebanon - Mobile operators – subscriber market share – 2009 - 2017
Chart 8 – Saudi Arabia - Major mobile operators market share – Q1 2017
Chart 9 – Turkey - Mobile operator market share by subscribers – Q3 2017
Chart 10 – Turkey - Mobile operators’ market share by revenue – Q3 2017
Chart 11 – UAE - Market share by mobile subscribers – Etisalat and du - 2016
Exhibit 1 – Middle East - Key characteristics of telecoms markets by country
Exhibit 2 – Generalised market characteristics by market segment
Exhibit 3 – Background information - Orascom Telecom Iraq Corporation/Iraqna
Exhibit 4 – Saudi Arabia - Historical – Bravo

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