Arab Advisors Group
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The big and beautiful in Arab GSM markets!
Sunday, June 23, 2002

A newly released report from the Arab Advisors Group (www.arabadvisors.com) inspects and compares the major Arab's GSM markets.

June 23, 2002 -

Morocco, Egypt and Saudi are the largest Arab GSM markets by numbers of subscribers. The UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain are the most developed with the highest penetration rates. Syria was a rising star in 2001 in terms of percentage growth.

A new report, entitled "The big and the beautiful of Arab GSM markets", was released to the Arab Advisors Group's (www.arabadvisors.com) Strategic Research Service subscribers on June 20, 2002. The report makes available a full comparison between the Arab GSM markets countries . This comparison is based on Arab Advisors Group's primary research in these countries published in nine country communications projections reports between late 2001 and early 2002. The Arab Advisors Group has close to 100 reports and research notes on the Arab communications and Internet markets that are available for immediate delivery as part of the annual Strategic Research Service subscription.

The total number of GSM subscribers in 10 examined Arab countries exceeded 16.5 million by yearend 2001. By subscribers numbers size, Morocco was the largest, followed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Bahrain and Syria.

"These small rich markets of the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait, with profit oriented monopoly operators (in the case of UAE and Bahrain) had the highest country penetration rates with 58%, 42% and 42% respectively as of yearend 2001 " The Arab Advisors Group's analysts noted.

The report has showed that Syria is a market that is well below its true potential but one that is seeing high growth. The country had the highest year on year growth rate of all Arab markets (largely due to the very small subscriber base in 2000) and that was due to the drop in connection fees, which were initially very high. Also Oman entered a high growth rate period in 2001 upon the introduction of prepaid services, increasing mobile subscribers from 156,000 in 2000 to 336,000 by yearend 2001.

According to Arab Advisors Group's projections, the relative situation at the top spots will remain the same by the end of this year. Morocco,Egypt and Saudi will remain the biggest markets by size (Saudi will have a lot more prepaid users). The UAE and Kuwait will be the most developed penetration wise and Syria will experience the biggest percent growth as well.

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