Saudi Arabia #1 competitive cellular market rank

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Saudi Arabia’s cellular market was ranked as the most competitive in the Arab world for the third consecutive year. Photo: Moe M/Flickr

A survey has rated the Saudi Arabia cellular market as the most competitive in the Arab world for the third consecutive year.

The ratings were revealed by the Arab Advisors Group in its Cellular Competition Intensity Index 2013. The Cellular Competition Intensity Index compares the state of every market relative to other markets. Therefore, even though a market may improve in terms of the absolute level of competition, its position on the index would also depend on the development in other markets. The survey took into account the number of cellular operators, prices and packages, and services available to consumers, to rate the countries for competitiveness.

The kingdom’s cellular market topped the ranking with a 76.58 percent mark. It was closely followed by Jordan (75.83 percent) and Palestine (71.55 percent) in the overall charts. Egypt (67.89 percent) and Iraq (66.03 percent) rounded up the top five countries. Other prominent countries in the list included Oman (64.28 percent), Morocco (64.20 percent), Bahrain (64.18 percent) and Tunisia (63.03 percent). Lebanon (40.71 percent) was ranked the lowest in the survey.

Mohammed Al-Shawwa; “Saudi Arabia maintained its rank as the most competitive cellular market in the Arab World for the third consecutive year. The country hosts four operational and licensed mobile network operators, in addition to one MVNO. Saudi Arabia’s score benefited from the availability of smart phone plans, corporate offers, 3G services and ILD competition.” — Mohammed Al-Shawwa, Arab Advisors Group Research Manager

Based on the survey methodology, Kuwait (54.32 percent), UAE (48.68 percent) and Qatar (47.67 percent) were also rated lower on the scale. While Kuwait, UAE and Qatar maintained their 2012 positions, Oman dropped in the index ranking.

The Middle East cellular market is set to become more competitive in the coming years as new operators lure consumers and consolidation marks the sector. A changing regulatory environment will continue to shape competition in the Middle East’s mobile market.

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