20 July 2018

4G and LTE Market in Middle East

4G and LTE Market in Middle East

4G is the successor of the third generation of mobile communication technology. It has surpassed many technological hurdles and proven to be one of the most efficient innovations to have come out of telecom industry. The growing numbers of smartphone users have led to network providers to innovate and introduce new communication technologies in order to gain more subscribers base. The network providers in the west have increasingly innovated with time and implemented many of the advanced features and services in a large commercial use. The market in west is more stronger and the reception is often positive with the demands for newer and latest enhanced products and services. The eastern and south eastern countries, however, have maintained a solid ground in deploying and attracting newer, faster and more efficient telecom services across different countries.

Korean internet achieves the fastest speed made till date and other countries are increasingly innovating to climb up the ladder and bring more digital solutions to the table. For instance, US has been improving since last few years as the increased industrial growth, tech-savy population, education sector bringing digital solutions to the classroom and many other factors have risen the capability that the US network providers are vying for. Middle-east is the region where innovation and technological and architectural marvels are seamless. Middle-east telecom sector of late has been allowing change as compared to last decade when majority of the companies’ and their management holdings were governed by the native royal families and the political parties that are by default a part of the empire run by many royal families alone. However, due to few influential factors from the west that generated a huge amount of interest and prospective growth that couldn’t be reached independently, middle-eastern companies decided to merge. One such example is the merger between Richard Branson’s Virgin Mobile with Saudi telecom licenses.

The Dubai telecom operators are following the practices of west by offering the fully subsidized smartphones to consumers for better 4G LTE to increase the traction between the networks and subscribers that will utilize the telecom and internet services at a good and reasonable tariffs. Many argue that the UAE telecom network providers are not offering phones that are subsidized but discounted data packages which lure consumers into getting attracted to the cheap affordable rates and gain latest services. For the Middle-eastern telecom industry to flourish and become a gigantic industry similar to in US and UK, it will take a considerable longer time for various reasons, some being the smaller population, less tech-savvy people, main industry being the petroleum, middle-east will soon see a brighter growth in the telecom sector and increased awareness of the smartphone benefits. Large cities and metros on one hand offer mainstream telecom services and data packages that are in line with any metropolitan cities, but the rural and town based regions are still lagging behind in bringing the wide spectrum and facilities to achieve maximum consumer population.

There are barriers such as lack of interest and need for majority of the population to acquire a device that comes with functionality and capability of a smartphone and people don’t seem to be keen on shelling extra money on devices or networks other than using them for traditional exchange of messages and calls. Most people don’t see LTE as a necessity and that is the biggest challenge for newer entrants into the middle-eastern market to expand their organization’s wide reach and service offering. To lock-in newer customers, telecom operators are looking at deals that seem attractive and especially the ones that have generated some engagement among users. Samsung’s deal with Etisalat proves to be a game changer in middle-eastern market and look forward to bringing in more customers with offers on varieties of Samsung devices combined with excellent data packages.

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