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Mideast mobile subs to grow 15% in 2009

17 декабря 2008

Mobile subscription rates in the Middle East are set to grow by 15% in 2009 despite the global economic slowdown, the region's representative body for wireless industry GSM Arab World said Tuesday.

"The region is still seeing growth rates in mobile subscriber numbers that are higher than the economies of Europe and the Americas, and this lead seems set to widen in 2009," GSM Arab World Chairman Abdulaziz Fakhroo, who is also Wireless Networks Divisional Manager at Qtel, said in a statement.

He added mobile broadband technologies are likely to increase in importance in 2009 because countries will see greater benefits to developing "knowledge economies" as commodity prices fall.

According to GSM Arab World, which also represents mobile operators in 22 Arab countries and 199 million customers, mobile penetration in Arab countries reached 56% at end of the second half of 2008, although this figure is much higher across Gulf Cooperation Council markets.

More mature markets are expected to see a surge in wireless broadband usage as operators look to develop their networks and drive an increase in data traffic levels in 2009 and some economies in the Gulf are already seeing a surge in the use of Wi-max and broadband technology.

Global subscription growth is expected to hit 11.7% for 2009, driven by increasingly mobile and growing populations, but the economies of Asia Pacific, Africa and the
Middle East, according to Fakhroo. In contrast, growth of just below 5% is expected in Western Europe and 5.6% in North America in 2009.

Источник: Total Telecom

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