Mobile sector boosts economy, claims survey

Research commissioned by Kuwait's MTC has linked a nation's economy to its level of mobile penetration, for example claiming that every job created in Egypt's mobile sector makes eight further jobs in the country.

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By  Alex Ritman Published  February 21, 2006

For every job created in Egypt’s mobile sector eight further jobs are made in separate sections of the Egyptian economy, according to a new report commissioned by Kuwait’s MTC Group. The study, Mobility for One Language, Diverse Cultures, was funded by the pan Middle East and Africa mobile operator and conducted by Zawya and includes a survey carried out in six different countries by Nicosia-based ACNielsen. MTC Group general manager Dr Saad Al Barrak, speaking at the research’s release at the 3GSM conference in Barcelona, indicated that it was not just the employment level that was boosted by increased mobile sector jobs. “If ICT investment in Egypt were doubled it would create 1.3 million new jobs and the rate of GDP growth would rocket from 4 percent to 8 percent and more,” he said, adding that this research was spurring on MTC’s determination to win the third mobile licence in Egypt which is expected to start operating later this year or in early 2007. MTC are likely to be bidding against the likes of Etisalat, MTN and maybe even Saudi Telecom, which said it was considering the licence. Elsewhere in the research, data showed that some mobile operators represent over 30% of a total stock market. In Kuwait, a US$1000 investment was found to result in a return of around US$33,500. The report also looked into other regional markets aside from Egypt, finding that mobile phone industry revenues accounted for 5% of the increase in Bahrain’s GDP between 2002 and 2004. In Jordan, the study claimed, in the four years of liberalisation, the number of employees in the mobile sector had increased by 42%. Project manager for the research at Zawya, Tarek El Zein, said that the report was especially challenging because the region was largely lacking in essential statistics. “The results have shown how, when and where mobile phones have affected the lives of the many people and economies of the MENA region,” he added.

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