Zain Kuwait boss claims 500% increase in mobile broadband usage
MWC: Massive increase in usage in second half of 2009 due to innovations such as iPhone, according to Zain Kuwait CEO
Mobile World Congress, Barcelona: Mobile broadband usage among Zain Kuwait's subscribers rocketed by 500% during the second half of last year, according to the operator's CEO.
Zain Kuwait boss Khalid Al-Hajeri said the increase was a surprise: "We thought the trend was localised, but it looks like it is all over [the region]."
"Innovations such as the introduction of the iPhone and the BlackBerry have contributed to it, but what we have seen from the analysis is that it is not only the corporate users, it is the consumers," he said. "Whether they are $10 average revenue per user (ARPU) or $100 ARPU, they all want to have the internet."
In August last year, Zain Kuwait upgraded its mobile broadband network to support download speeds up to 21.6 Mbps. But Al-Hajeri, speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday (Monday), said ease of use and convenience and allowing customers to keep full control of their spend were the best ways for operators to increase usage.
"The demand is there, and I think that so far we have only seen the tip of the iceberg," he added.
Al-Hajeri, who was linked with the vacant CEO position by Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai last week before Kuwait's former minister of communications, Nabil Bin Salama, was appointed to the role on Monday, declined to comment on Indian operator Bharti Airtel's bid for Zain's African assets.