Saudi telecom firms most competitive in Arab world |
Saudi Gazette - 11 August, 2012
Saudi Arabia, with a score of 74.56 percent, has the most competitive telecommunications sector in the Arab world, the Arab Advisors Group’s Cellular Competition Intensity Index 2012 report said.
Jordan came in second, followed by Palestine.
In the Gulf, Oman was the second most competitive at 67.01 percent, followed by Bahrain (61.01 percent) and Kuwait (52.58 percent).
The index showed that the UAE (49.01 percent) and Qatar (47.14 percent) were the Gulf’s least competitive markets while Libya was the worst ranked country in the Arab world (32.68 percent).
However it also showed that the UAE was one of only four markets whose score improved compared to the previous ranking in April.
"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," said Mohammed Al-Shawwa, Arab Advisors Group senior research analyst.
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.
The Arab Advisors Group devised the Cellular Competition Intensity Index to rate and to examine the intensity level of competition in the Arab World’s cellular markets.
The index 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, availability of 3G services and the availability of operational ILD (International Long Distance) competition.
A new report, "Competition Levels in Arab Cellular Markets" was released to the Arab Advisors Group’s Telecoms Strategic Research Service subscribers in June 2012. The report ranks the Arab World countries according to their cellular competition intensity level, based on a methodological approach.
The Cellular Competition Intensity Index takes into account the number of operators, packages, and services available in each of the 19 countries covered by the Arab Advisors
The GCC countries have around 235 companies operating in the various industries within telecommunications sector, a report by Kuwait and Middle East Financial Investment Company said.
The GCC industry houses a wide range of sub-industries ranging from simple retailers of phones and their accessories to major infrastructure providers, the report said.
Saudi Arabia tops the list with 89 companies, followed by the UAE with 86 companies, Kuwait, 29 companies, while Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar together house 31 companies, the report said.