The Saudi Arabian telecom market is rapidly becoming a competitive market. The large population, fast growing economy, relatively low penetration rates and ingression of new operators like Zain make this market a potential one. The operators in Saudi Arabia are Saudi Telecom Communications (STC) and Mobily(Etisalat), whereas Zain has been provided with the third mobile licence, is still due to launch it’s services. Saudi Arabian mobile subscribers have recently grown to 27 mln, 109% penetration.
STC reported a net income of SAR 3,840 mn, up 24% YoY, compared to our 3,515 mn estimateand has a subscriber base of 18 mn at end of June 08.
The second mobile operator of Saudi Arabia, Mobily (Etisalat), is growing it’s subscriber base rapidly which is just above 8 million, increasing by 32% and net profits grew 47% at the end of June.
Zain is looking to commercially launch its 2G/3G network on August 15, 15 months after announcing that its consortium had been selected as the winner of the kingdom’s third mobile licence in March 2007 at a cost of US$6.11 billion.
PS: According to the sources, Verizon-led consortium has won initial approval to operate Saudi Arabia’s new fixed-line phone network. It would operate with $300 million capital and invest $3 billion linking 21 cities in seven years to its optical wire fixed-line network.