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Communication Services in the Middle East and North Africa: Trends and Forecasts 2018–2023

  • ID: 4760637
  • Report
  • Region: Africa, MENA, Middle East, North Africa
  • 15 pages
  • Analysys Mason Group
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This report provides an outlook on the mobile communication services market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), including country views for Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It provides forecasts for voice and messaging services provided by both mobile network operators and over-the-top (OTT) providers.

This report provides:

  • forecasts for operator services including VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling and IP messaging, as well as traditional voice and messaging services
  • quantification of the level of substitution from traditional services to OTT alternatives
  • user and traffic forecasts for communication services, including OTT voice and messaging
  • an outlook for multi-device usage across smartphones, tablets and PCs/laptops
  • detailed forecasts for Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Who Should Read this Report

  • Strategy and planning executives that are responsible for mobile operators’ communication services strategies and partnerships with OTT players.
  • Executives in mobile operators’ technology and innovations teams who are responsible for developing communication services.
  • Marketing executives at vendors of communication services equipment and software, as it will help them to understand the needs of their operator customers and to size the addressable market for their products.

Key metrics

Non-operator/OTT services

  • Voice and messaging
  • Active users by device type
  • Outgoing traffic by device type

Operator traditional services

  • Handsets
  • Circuit-switched (CS) voice and SMS
  • Outgoing traffic

Operator IP-based services

  • Active users by service type:
    • VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling, IP messaging
  • Outgoing traffic by service type
    • VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling, IP messaging
  • Retail revenue
    • voice and messaging
    • average spend per user
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Chapter Nos.
6. Executive summary
7. Worldwide trends
8. Worldwide: 72 trillion OTT IP messages were sent in 2018; this is 12 times the number of messages that were sent using SMS
9. Worldwide: 80% of smartphone users were active on OTT messaging apps in 2018; the penetration of these apps will slow down in the coming years
10. Worldwide: the OTT communication market is heading towards saturation; Facebook’s future revenue growth will come from enhanced user monetisation
11. Worldwide: smartphones will continue to be the dominant communication devices, but the use of emerging devices will increase
12. Worldwide: strategic responses from operators vary significantly in different regions
13. Worldwide: operators are migrating smartphone users to VoLTE services; nearly 3.5 billion VoLTE subscribers are expected by 2023
14. Worldwide: many operators are rolling out Wi-Fi calling, primarily to improve indoor coverage; the roll-out of Wi-Fi 6 will further increase its adoption and usage
15. Worldwide: the number of RCS users is growing rapidly as operators worldwide are rolling out the technology on Android devices
16. Regional trends
17. Middle East and North Africa: OTT services will dominate the messaging space and there is little appetite for operators to compete
18. Middle East and North Africa: legacy voice services will continue to dominate, but VoIP will represent a persistent challenge
19. Country-level trends
20. Morocco: operators were able to limit the native to OTT voice migration by lowering their voice pricing after the lift of the VoIP ban
21. Oman: the adoption of OTT messaging will accelerate, but the growth in the take-up of VoIP services will be subdued due to regulations
22. Saudi Arabia: fierce competition over voice and data pricing leaves operators with limited potential to deter OTT players
23. United Arab Emirates: the outlook for OTT IP messaging and voice is strong, despite operators’ efforts to reduce the appeal of OTT apps
24. Forecast methodology and assumptions
25. Forecast outputs and definitions
26. Forecast methodology and assumptions

List of figures
Figure 1: Messaging traffic, Middle East and North Africa, 2012–2023
Figure 2: Mobile voice traffic, Middle East and North Africa, 2012–2023
Figure 3: Messages sent, by message type, worldwide, 2012–2018
Figure 4: Messages sent, by message type, and number of OTT messaging active users worldwide, 2012–2023
Figure 5: OTT messaging users, by device, worldwide, 2012–2023
Figure 6: OTT voice users, by device, worldwide, 2012–2023
Figure 7: Retail revenue for operator mobile voice services, by region, worldwide, 2016–2023
Figure 8: Retail revenue for operator mobile messaging services, by region, worldwide, 2016–2023
Figure 9: Active users of VoLTE services, by region, 2016–2023
Figure 10: Wi-Fi calling traffic and number of service users, worldwide, 2016–2023
Figure 11: Traffic and users for all mobile operator messaging services, worldwide, 2012–2023
Figure 12: Messaging traffic, Middle East and North Africa, 2012–2023
Figure 13: Mobile voice traffic, Middle East and North Africa, 2012–2023
Figure 14: Messaging traffic by message type, Morocco, 2012–2023
Figure 15: Messaging traffic by message type, Oman, 2012–2023
Figure 16: Messaging traffic by message type, Saudi Arabia, 2012–2023
Figure 17: Messaging traffic by message type, UAE, 2012–2023
Figure 18: Overview of the main forecast outputs
Figure 19: Overview of the forecast methodology used in this report

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  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Saudi Arabia
  • the UAE
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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