The total mobile subscribers in the Middle East and North East Africa reached 690 M Subscribers in 2016, and it is expected to reach 850 M subscribers in 2022 with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3%. Smartphone subscriptions also reached 230 M subscribers in 2016, and it’s also expected to reach 480 M subscribers in 2022 with a compound annual growth rate of 15%. The region is still expected to have a higher GDP growth rate than the world average.
- Mobile penetration and mobile broadband penetration in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates are over 100% in most countries (with averages of 170 and 110 percent).
- Medium mobile broadband penetration in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon reached 60%, while penetration is lower in Iran, Iraq, and Egypt with an average of 35%.
- In Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE, one-third of internet users who use smartphones state that most of their TV and video consumption is now on-demand, catch-up or online. Over 70% of internet users with smartphones in these countries watch video clips on social networking websites at least once a week, compared to 65% globally.
- 48% of internet users in Saudi Arabia and 46% in the UAE said they couldn’t live without social media, while 44% of the regional average said also they couldn’t live without social media, compared to 24% globally.
- UAE and Turkey provide better app coverage than Egypt and Lebanon.
- In Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, and Egypt, most smartphone users have data plans with a minimum of 1 GB of data. Saudi Arabia has the highest percentage of users with very high data plans.
- Events such as Expo 2020 in Dubai and FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 will create new opportunities and accelerate 5G introduction in the region.
A Graph Shows The Top Smartphone Apps by Total Data Traffic in The Middle East & North East Africa, 2016.