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Jordan tops telecom competition index

Jordan and Saudi Arabia emerge as region's most competitive telco markets

Jordan is among the region's most competitive telecom markets, according to a survey from Arab Advisors Group.
Jordan is among the region's most competitive telecom markets, according to a survey from Arab Advisors Group.

Jordan emerged as the country with the most competitive telecom sector in the Arab world, followed closely by Saudi Arabia and Palestine, according to a survey from research firm, Arab Advisors Group.

The Cellular Competition Intensity Index, which takes into account factors including the number of operators, packages and services available, gave Jordan a score of 80.7%, while Saudi Arabia achieved a score of 75.3%, and Palestine 69.3%. All three companies improved their rankings compared with last year's survey.

The survey found Lebanon to be the least competitive market, with a score of just 31.2%, while the UAE, Syria and Libya also performed poorly, achieving scores of 45.4%, 38% and 34.3% respectively.

In total, eight countries, comprising Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Oman, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain and Qatar ranked higher than in June 2009. Meanwhile, the same number of countries, consisting of Algeria, Sudan, Mauritania, Kuwait, UAE, Libya and Lebanon, ranked lower. The remaining three countries, Egypt, Morocco and Syria, maintained their June 2009 ranks.

"In addition to having four cellular operators, Jordan has intense competition in the ILD (international long distance) segment and has the highest number of prepaid plans amounting to twenty four plans," said Faten Bader, senior research analyst, Arab Advisors Group.

Bader added that Jordan was also the second highest performer, after Morocco, in terms of the number of postpaid plans, which amounted to thirty seven.

The impact of MVNO was also noted by the survey for the first time, with Oman achieving a score of 67.1% and moving to fourth place compared with fifteenth place in 2009, according to Zeena Al Borgan, also a senior research analyst at Arab Advisors Group.

"By end of April 2010, the market hosted five operational MVNOs, in addition to the two mobile operators, Oman Mobile and Nawras. The overall score was boosted further due to scoring full marks in the availability of corporate offers, 3G services and ILD competition," she said.

The full results of the survey were: Jordan (80.7%),Saudi Arabia (75.3%), Palestine (69.3%), Oman (67.1%), Egypt (65.7%), Morocco (64.9%), Iraq (63.4%), Tunisia (62.7%), Yemen (61.1%), Bahrain (59.9%), Algeria (59.5%), Sudan (59.4%), Mauritania (56.8%), Kuwait (49.8%), Qatar (46.4%), UAE (45.4%), Syria (38.0%), Libya (34.3%), and finally Lebanon (31.2%).