Saudi GSM revenues to surge, report says

12 March 2003
Revenues from Saudi Arabia's GSM market will more than double to some $7,900 million by 2007 from $3,400 million in 2002, according to a report by Jordan-based Arab Advisers Group released on 10 March. The steep rise in income will come on the back of Saudi Telecom's privatisation and the resulting increase in competition. However, revenue from fixed lines is forecast to decline to $2,720 million in 2007 from $2,790 million in 2002. GSM penetration is predicted to rise to 77 per cent in the same period. 'The growth in mobile adoption has radically changed the traffic patterns in the Saudi market,' the report said. 'Between 1999 and 2001, the absolute number of international calls via mobile grew by 305 per cent, while the number of minutes over mainlines grew by only 26 per cent.' At the end of 2002, fixed-line penetration was 3.5 million and mobile penetration 5 million out of a population of 25 million. GSM services are scheduled for liberalisation in 2004.

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