MTC-Vodafone retains lead in Kuwait

MTC-Vodafone secured the majority of mobile market additions last year to maintain its small lead over Wataniya Telecom in Kuwait, according to research group, Arab Advisors.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  April 19, 2004

MTC-Vodafone secured the majority of mobile market additions last year to maintain its small lead over Wataniya Telecom in Kuwait, according to research group, Arab Advisors. The operator increased its market share from 53% in 2002 to 54% in 2003 as the two competitors scrambled to achieve a technological edge and win over customers. With the Kuwaiti market approaching saturation, both Wataniya and MTC-Vodafone have also expanded their operations in other countries, establishing themselves as strong regional operators. There are now 1.7 million mobile subscribers in Kuwait, translating into a penetration rate of 74%, according to Arab Advisors. The research group says that Wataniya holds the edge in the prepaid market, with 53% market share. Kuwait remains dominated by prepaid users, which constitute 80% of the market. However, MTC-Vodafone holds 81% of the postpaid market. “Kuwait’s mobile market grew by 30% in 2003,” says Yaman Al Jundi, Arab Advisors' research analyst. “MTC-Vodafone lost postpaid subscribers for the third straight year, recording a 4% drop in 2003. Wataniya recorded an impressive 90% growth in postpaid subscribers, but its overall postpaid subscriber base stands at only a quarter of MTC-Vodafone’s postpaid subscribers base,” he adds. Arab Advisors believes the Kuwaiti mobile market to be the model for healthy competition in the Gulf region. Cellular penetration has jumped from 28% in 2000 to reach an impressive 74% in 2003. Another result of the competition has been a race to offer improved value-added services and technologies, which ultimately will benefit the individual mobile user, as well as the operators themselves, the research group adds.

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