Seventeen Arab countries now have 3G or 3.5G mobile networks, with mobile internet, video calling and mobile TV proving the most popular services provided, according to a new report from Arab Advisors Group.
Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen all had 3G or 3.5G services in commercial operation by November 2011. (Third generation mobile services in Iraq are provided by a provincial operator, rather than nationwide.)
"The Arab Advisors Group analysis of the 3G/3.5G operators revealed that all 36 3G operators analysed offer mobile internet. The local video calling service is offered by 30 operators. Mobile TV is the third most common 3G service among the operators, and is offered by 16 operators," said Mohammed Al-Shawwa, senior research analyst, Arab Advisors Group.
Since December 2009, nine more operators in the Arab world commercially launched 3G. 3.5G services, according to the report.
"By January 2012, three Arab countries had commercially launched LTE [long term evolution] services: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. LTE services are commercially operated by five operators in these countries: Mobily, STC and Zain in Saudi Arabia, Etisalat in the UAE and Viva in Kuwait," added Mr Al-Shawwa.