The total mobile subscribers in the Middle East and North East Africa reached 690 M Subscribers in 2016, and it is expected to reach 850 M subscribers in 2022 with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3%. Smartphone subscriptions also reached 230 M subscribers in 2016, and it’s also expected to reach 480 M subscribers in 2022 with a compound annual growth rate of 15%. The region is still expected to have a higher GDP growth rate than the world average.
Mobile penetration and mobile broadband penetration in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates are over 100% in most countries (with averages of 170 and 110 percent).
Medium mobile broadband penetration in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon reached 60%, while penetration is lower in Iran, Iraq, and Egypt with an average of 35%.
In Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE, one-third of internet users who use smartphones state that most of their TV and video consumption is now on-demand, catch-up or online. Over 70% of internet users with smartphones in these countries watch video clips on social networking websites at least once a week, compared to 65% globally.
48% of internet users in Saudi Arabia and 46% in the UAE said they couldn’t live without social media, while 44% of the regional average said also they couldn’t live without social media, compared to 24% globally.
UAE and Turkey provide better app coverage than Egypt and Lebanon.
In Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, and Egypt, most smartphone users have data plans with a minimum 1 GB of data. Saudi Arabia has the highest percentage of users with very high data plans.
Events such as Expo 2020 in Dubai and FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 will create new opportunities and accelerate 5G introduction in the region.
For more information, please download the “Middle East and North East Africa: ERICSSON Mobility, Q4 2016” full report.