Arab mobile broadband market booming
Amman , May 31, 2011
The mobile broadband is booming in the Arab World with 14 countries in the region having high-speed 3G networks, said a study by Arab Advisors Group, released ahead of a major telecom event in Amman.
Arab Advisors Group is a specialized research, analysis and consulting company focused on the communications, media and technology markets throughout the Arab World.
Close to 600 executives will be attending the 8th 'Annual Media and Telecommunications Convergence Conference 2011' being hosted by Arab Advisors Group from June 6 to 7.
The event will see experts discuss market trends/growth strategies, and the boundaries between media and telecom operators, the event organisers said.
The telecoms conference convenes at the Four Seasons Hotel in Amman as mobile broadband and broadband-enabled high performance handsets experience increasing adoption in the Arab World’s mobile markets, redefining and expanding the mobile content and VAS space, they added.
According to a research by Arab Advisors Group, about 63 per cent of Internet users in Saudi Arabia access Internet through their mobile handsets.
The increasingly content-ready mobile landscape is providing a solid base for convergence-based business models as broadcast media operators, and content owners, target customers through these emerging platforms, it added.
The 3G mobile broadband too is booming with 1.37 million subscriptions in Morocco by end of 2010, and close to 3 million subscriptions in Saudi Arabia, the research added.
Moreover, the study said mobile operators in 15 Arab countries were promoting smart-phone packages with data bundles to enhance adoption.
The conference is being held under the patronage of Princess Sumaya Bint Al Hassan, president of El Hassan Science City and the Royal Scientific Society.
The official opening ceremony will include addresses by Princess Sumaya and Atef Tal, Jordan’s Minister of ICT and Dr Abdul malek Al-Jaber, chief operating officer, Zain Group and CEO, Zain Jordan.
The key speakers include Mohammad Omran, chairman of Etisalat), Osman Sultan, CEO of du, Dr Hessa Jaber, secretary general, ICT Qatar, Hakam Kanafani, CEO of Turk Telecom, Anders Lindblad, (president and head of region Mena), Ross Cormack, CEO of Nawras and Ghassan Hasbani, CEO of International, Saudi Telecom.
Jawad J. Abbassi, founder and general manager of Arab Advisors Group, said 'With the advent of high-speed mobile networks and smartphones, mobile users are increasingly accessing the Internet on their mobile handsets.'
Arab Advisors Group’s latest research shows that 63 per cent of Internet users in key markets such as Saudi Arabia access Internet through their mobile handsets (through a 3G connection or Wi-Fi), up from 47 per cent in 2008,' he revealed.
'With the wide availability of smartphone devices in the Arab World, content creators and application developers have been quick to capitalize on the opportunity these devices present.'
'Our research shows that by March 2011, there were more than 800 applications either created by Arab developers or available in Arabic on the three major platforms alone (Apple App Store, Blackberry App World and Android Market) and this number is rapidly increasing with new applications published every day,' Abbassi added.
According to him, the proliferation of high-speed mobile networks and smartphone devices in the Arab World’s telecom markets has started to re-define the way consumers are accessing and consuming digital content.
The speakers and delegates at Arab Advisors’ Media and Telecommunications Convergence Conference 2011 will deliberate threats and opportunities inherent in this landscape change, he added.
Zain Group, the main sponsor of conference, said the role of content development has become more and more important in the field of telecommunications.
'Zain Jordan has realized such trends and requirements early on and began moving towards content development in which it has seen considerable success,' remarked Dr Al Jaber.
“With that in mind, we launched the Zain broadband internet service through HSPA+ technology as a stepping stone towards consolidating Zain’s position as an integrated operator with the largest network in the Jordan telecommunications market,' he added.
Zain, he said, executed its strategy which focuses on investing in innovative applications and content development through mobile phones in a way that matches the needs of the local community and is in line with its culture, thus helping enhance knowledge and build communication.
“International numbers for applications provided via mobile phones are expected to reach 1.8 billion between 2008 and 2014, deeming the market of content provision more important, with the market of advertising through mobile phones becoming a very promising one” said Dr Al Jaber.
The annual conference also received the support and sponsorships from Qualcomm, Arabsat, Motorola, Umniah, Ericsson, Orange, and Oracle.-TradeArabia News Service