ME 'to beat Europe in LTE early adoption'
Dubai, May 29, 2010
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and UAE will pioneer long term evolution (LTE) adoption in the Middle East as their LTE penetration rate is expected to reach 11.8 per cent, more than the projected Western European average of 7.7 per cent, said a new report.
While the Middle East is a smaller market, it makes up the difference in its potential for growth, said Pyramid Research in its new Insider report 'LTE in the Middle East: Early Lessons From the Gulf Pioneers.'
For nearly 25 years, Pyramid Research has been providing practical advice on emerging market and service opportunities to leaders in the converged communications, media and technology industries.
In the report Pyramid Research Analyst Kerem Arsal examines the market criteria that will drive the early LTE deployments in the Middle East.
'The Middle East's mobile data revenue growth of 34 per cent for 2009 compares with only seven per cent for the same period in Western Europe,' he said.
'We expect LTE adoption in the region to reach 6.1 per cent of all mobile subscriptions by 2014, due to strong growth of demand for data services, reliance on mobile rather than fixed access technologies, and the increasingly competitive approaches of the telecom regulators,' he pointed out.
Arsal also investigates the obstacles that some Middle Eastern markets may face despite sharing some commonalities with the early adopters. To provide a closer look at active dynamics, this report presents three case studies from Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Turkey, which collectively comprise over half of total mobile service revenues in the region.
'Among the region's LTE pioneers - specifically Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain - we project LTE adoption to reach 11.1 per cent of all subscriptions by 2014, which surpasses our forecast of a 7.7 per cent LTE adoption rate in Western Europe,' Arsal noted.
'By relating the driving factors to our forecasts for LTE adoption, it shows why certain markets are better positioned for growth than others in the region,' he added.
According to Arsal, the mobile data revenue growth is a result of the absence of strong fixed broadband infrastructure and/or sufficient fixed competition, giving favorable signals to the network operators that are considering LTE deployments in the region.
'Throughout the wealthier Gulf region, the absence of widespread fixed broadband infrastructure forced most subscribers to rely on mobile technologies for their Internet needs; as a result, some markets in the Middle East, particularly the Gulf area, have experienced huge leaps in mobile broadband demand,' he explained.
'These are the most suitable settings for LTE, which is likely to begin its life cycle with data cards and connectivity modems. In addition, wealthy Gulf nations have already developed much expertise in upgraded 3G networks; this will lead to a smoother transition to LTE,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service