Mid East sees 8m more mobile subscribers in Q1
Surge represents 9% YOY sector growth for region, according to Ericsson report
Telecoms vendor Ericsson this week announced the findings of its Mobility Report, which revealed that Middle East telecom operators gained 8m new mobile subscribers during the first quarter of 2013, representing 9% year-on-year growth, to reach 284m customers, region wide.
Regional mobile penetration stood at 109% in Q1, according to the report, which also highlighted that one in every 16 mobile subscriptions globally during the same period was from the Middle East. Ericsson also estimated that around 700m mobile subscriptions will be added in the Middle East and Africa by the end of 2018.
The Ericsson report's findings also predict that mobile-data traffic will continue to grow significantly in the coming years, a trend driven mainly by the demand for video. Globally, data traffic is expected to grow twelvefold by the end of 2018. Increasing usage is expected to be driven by continual growth in the amount of content available as well as improved network speeds that come with HSPA and LTE development.
Anders Lindblad, president, Ericsson Middle East, said: "LTE rollout has already started in some parts of the Middle East, while it is still in the early stages in other parts of the region. However, with the findings of today's report, LTE is clearly the technology of the future for the Middle East. Globally, LTE services will be available to about 60% of the world's population in 2018 and we expect LTE subscriptions to exceed 1bn in 2017, driven by more capable devices and demand for data-intensive services such as video."