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Mobile market in the Middle East continues to boom

The mobile phone market has boomed in the Middle East over the last two years, with the number of subscribers in the region nearing the seven million mark.

The mobile phone market has boomed in the Middle East over the last two years, with the number of subscribers in the region nearing the seven million mark. With the volume of subscribers due to top 28 million by the end of 2004, MobileCom’s CEO, Jean-Luc Vuillemin, is focusing on the value add services currently available in the advanced GSM services market.

‘Value add’ services include short message service (SMS), wireless application protocol (WAP) or Internet access through a mobile, and email services.

“In Europe, mobile phone operators are offering special area services, which automatically alerts a person by sending an SMS message to their phone, providing information about a shop or outlet close by,” said Vuillemin.

“For example, you could be walking within the vicinity of a movie theatre and receive an alert on your phone about the movie showing next and how long before it starts. Although this is a very simple service being supported by the operator and participating outlet, it highlights one of the key roles which a mobile phone could be playing along with providing voice communication capabilities.”

“Although these new technologies will become the de facto standard, there still remains tremendous potential for the GSM standard on which operators can offer new services. This is more so in the Middle East which is just beginning to enjoy widespread demand,” Vuillemin explained.

“As mobile usage continues to flourish, operators are now positioned to begin offering advanced services tailored for the Arab users, and of course, in the Arabic language. More Middle East operators are now exploring the opportunities and are establishing a road map that will see further growth of GSM until a new standard is deemed feasible for introduction to the region.”

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