Region joins the global revolution

01 March 1996
SPECIAL REPORTS TELECOMS

The global telecoms revolution is starting to make inroads in the Middle East and North Africa as the region installs digital technology, embraces mobile phones and sets up Intemet connections. In the smaller Gulf states, in particular, subscribers have access to services that are as sophisticated as those in some of the most developed telecoms markets.

Alongside the technical advances there are structural changes taking effect, which spell the end for state monopolies as private operators gain access to areas of the market. Such developments are not evenly spread, however. Lebanon has introduced competing mobile phone companies in just three years; Egypt has decided to scrap plans to let a private company launch global standard for mobiles (GSM) services.

Below, MEED writers chart the latest telecoms developments in 19 regional markets:

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