New Market Report: Qatar Telecommunications Report Q3 2013

New Fixed Networks research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research

[USPRwire, Thu Jul 25 2013] BMI Industry View

BMI View: Qatar's mobile, fixed-line and internet sectors are among the highest value in the world, with ARPU levels supported by high incomes. The telecoms sector has continued to grow, as well the introduction of new products and services. As the markets mature and saturation is reached in all three sectors, we expect the country's telecoms service providers to introduce new high-value offerings for private and corporate customers to offset the impact of slower subscriptions growth in future. We believe investment in next generation access technologies provides the right platform for the roll-out of premium communications services.

Key Data

* The mobile market grew by adding 197,000 subscriptions in Q113, the largest additions since Q309.
* Ooredoo reported a steep decline in ARPU in Q113, down 12.8% y-o-y to QAR130.4. Vodafone was yet to report ARPU for Q113 at the time of writing.
* The fixed-line market grew by 6.7% in 2012, driven by competition and demand for multiplay services.

Full Report Details at

Risk/Reward Ratings

Qatar stayed in third position on our RRR table this quarter with an aggregate score of 61.5, compared to a regional average score of 51.7. Qatar scores above the regional average in four categories of our ratings table, including the highest regional score in the Country Risks category.

Key Developments

Ooredoo launched Qatar's first long-term evolution (LTE) mobile network in April 2013. The move enables Qatar to catch up with neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries, which began offering 4G services in 2011-2012. The LTE service, which operates on 800MHz and 2,600MHz frequencies, was initially made available in Doha and the Sealine district, but Ooredoo plans to expand coverage nationwide by the end of 2014. Consumers can access the 4G network for QAR60 (US $16.5) a month, and the operator is working with vendors to ensure there will be a variety of affordable 4Genabled devices on the market, including a 4G My-Fi device and a 4G-enabled dongle. BMI expects uptake of services to be strong in Qatar where consumers have high incomes and demonstrated demand for new services.

Competition is intensifying in the mobile market with the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) on January 31 2013. MNP will remove a major disincentive for subscribers to switch their phone networks, thereby making it imperative for operators improve their quality of service and customer satisfaction in order to retain existing customers. Further, competition could increase again, with local reports stating that the regulator is considering licensing additional operator, or perhaps MVNOs.

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