Middle East and Africa

The Market Challenge

The high rates of growth, particularly in mobile subscription numbers, that used to characterize MEA telecoms markets have fallen significantly. As in other regions, the established business lines of voice and SMS are in decline at most telecoms operators.

Data access and data revenues are growing strongly, but the growth is from a low base in many cases, and providing  data connectivity requires substantial investment. Some markets in the region are leaders in mobile financial services, particularly mobile-money transfer, but the development of other new digital services in the region is in its infancy.

Political, economic and infrastructure difficulties affect substantial parts of the region. Additional complexity comes from the vast and varied nature of the MEA region. Some countries in the Middle East have very advanced telecoms markets, whilst sub-Saharan Africa, by contrast, has some of the world’s least-developed markets.

How Ovum Helps You

In-depth reports track and analyse market data, competitive dynamics, and major trends at the country, operator, and regional level, and make recommendations to service providers and other market players.

Case studies profiles and topical reports set out and assess significant initiatives, developments and strategies in the region, such as digital-service deployments, and the prospects for 5G.

Comprehensive market data and forecasts allow customers to size and compare markets, identify quantitative trends, and develop strategies based on statistical evidence.

“Ovum forecasts that the first 5G services in the Middle East will be launched in 2020, and that there will be 2.3 million 5G subscriptions in the Middle East by end-2022”

Key Deliverables

Regional Outlook Reports – quarterly regional reports providing detailed analysis about market data and developments, with recommendations for major market players

Country Reports – profiles of the major country markets within the region, including comprehensive market data and analysis

Operator Reports – detailed portrait and analysis of the major operating groups within the MEA region, including financial and operational KPIs

Case Studies – detailed assessments of specific service deployments in the MEA region

Regional and Country Datasets – comprehensive set of data and forecasts for the region and every country within the region

Themes for 2018

MEA service provider digital strategies
Service providers and others in the MEA market are increasingly looking to develop new, digital strategies centred on digital transformation as well as on digital services. There is growing interest from beyond the region too: In 2017, Amazon acquired the Middle East e-commerce site Souq.com as a bridge into the region. Ovum will assess digital strategies and services in the region across sectors such as digital media, e-commerce, and mobile financial services, through case studies, analysis, and market data.


Broadband everywhere in MEA – the road to 5G
There are a few very advanced telecoms market within MEA, but the region as a whole has a substantial broadband deficit, and addressing that shortfall remains a major issue. Ovum’s data and analysis will cover the prospects for and progress of broadband in the region, as operators continue to roll-out 3G and 4G networks and services, and deploy more fibre for backhaul and access. Ovum will also track the move to 5G in MEA by analysing market data, operators’ 5G strategies, and relevant regulatory developments. Some of the advanced Gulf markets – notably the UAE and Qatar – are expected to launch 5G early. But for much of the rest of the MEA region, 5G will come some time later. However, in many markets in the region the planning and preparation for 5G should start now.


MEA service provider innovation
The MEA market is increasingly competitive and sophisticated, and service providers need to develop innovative products that will help them to stand out from their rivals, win and retain customers, and develop new revenue streams. Specific strategies are required for the region’s overwhelmingly prepaid mobile markets. MVNOs and operator sub-brands are relatively new to the region but offer a means of increasing market segmentation. Ovum will monitor and analyse product and service innovation in the MEA region, identifying trends and making recommendations to providers.


MEA IoT markets
There is a lot of interest in IoT in the Middle East and Africa, and Ovum will report closely on the progress of IoT in the region, as operators deploy IoT technologies and services. Ovum’s analysis will compare IoT developments and prospects within the region, point to the markets and sectors that offer the best prospects, and make recommendations about provider IoT strategies.


MEA service providers reshape strategies for new markets
As the MEA market matures and moves beyond the high-growth phase of a few years ago, service providers and other key players need to reinvent themselves for the next stage of the development. At the same time, difficulties such as the impact of the lower price of oil and other commodities on resource-dependent economies, as well as political instability within the region, are forcing change. Ovum will track and analyse the changing market environment, and the strategies for succeeding amid the upheaval.

What’s New

Expanded country reports – country reports will be extended to cover the TV market as well as fixed and mobile telecoms

Consumer Insights surveys – new consumer survey program will give fresh insight into regional markets

Operator reports to cover enterprise – operator reports will be expanded to cover enterprise as well as consumer markets

Digital Index tracker – new dataset will cover service providers’ digital services and performance

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