LTE in the Middle East and Africa: Contracts, Operator Reviews, Spectrum Strategies, Subscriptions, Pricing and Forecasts 2011 - 2015

Release Date: November 2011

Synopsis: With over 3.7 million global subscriptions in Q3’2011 spanning over 36 worldwide networks, LTE network deployments are rapidly gaining momentum. With four commercial network launches in Saudi Arabia (Zain Saudi, STC, Mobily) and the UAE (Etisalat) in September 2011, and over 26 LTE commitments, the Middle East has initiated a major push towards commercial LTE adoption globally, besides pioneering in the commercial release of TD-LTE user devices. By Q4 2011, it is expected that there will be over 6.6 million LTE subscriptions worldwide, with the Middle East region accounting for a 1.7 % market share with over 0.11 Million subscriptions. Subscriptions in the Africa region are also likely to follow suit, with early commercial launches in South Africa (Vodacom, MTN) expected before Q2’2012 taking African LTE subscriptions to 0.35 Million by Q4’2012. By 2015, it is estimated that the Middle East will account for 7.49 Million LTE subscriptions, while Africa will account for 11.15 Million subscriptions, representing global market shares of 1.8 % and 2.7 % respectively. While LTE is gaining a much quicker uptake than initial analyst predictions, there still exist a number of unanswered questions to the commercial success of LTE deployments in the Middle East and Africa such as the complexities in pricing plans, the lack of the sub-1GHz spectrum in the Middle East, regulatory issues, as well as interoperability between devices operating in different frequency bands.

Covering over 16 regional markets and 30 major operators from the Middle East and Africa region, this report and its associated database provide answers these complex questions by providing a detailed assessment of the critical aspects the Middle Eastern and African LTE market, which include commercial LTE, trial and pilot deployments, operator commitments, LTE pricing strategies, regional operator reviews, regional regulatory and spectrum strategies, present LTE subscriptions, and forecasts by country and spectrum from Q4’2011 till Q4’2015. The report begins by providing a comprehensive assessment of LTE technology from both technical and market perspectives. Firstly presented is a technical assessment including performance metrics, integration with presently deployment 2G, 3G and 3.5 G networks, and the evolution to LTE Advanced, the next generation of LTE technology. The report then studies the key market drivers and barriers towards the adoption of LTE, from a global perspective with regionally operator observations. The report then presents an assessment of global LTE commercial network deployments and subscriptions for Q3’2011, followed by an assessment of global LTE market share, LTE pricing strategies and opportunities, as well as LTE spectrum strategies from a global perspective. The subsequent sections individually focus on the Middle East and Africa regions and provide comprehensive reviews on the regional LTE market outlook from 2011 to 2015, commercial deployments, operator reviews, LTE commitments, pricing opportunities and strategies for each operator, spectrum allocation opportunities and pricing strategies for each country, and a market share assessment for each region. Provided in the end are detailed forecasts for LTE subscriptions, market share and spectrum regulation from Q4’2011 to Q4’2015 on a global, regional and country wide basis. Presented alongside the forecasts is a summary of regulatory activities, and LTE trials, pilots and deployments within each country.

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Single User License: USD 800

Company Wide License: USD 1,400

List of Companies Mentioned:

The following companies have been mentioned in the report.


Nokia Siemens Networks

Motorola (Now an NSN Asset)

Motorola Solutions



Saudi Telecom Company (STC)

Zain Saudi Arabia (SMTC)

Mobility (Etihad Etisalat Company)

Etisalat (UAE)

Du (UAE)

Abu Dhabi Police

Zain Bahrain

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) Bahrain

Zain Jordan

Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Jordan

Zain Kuwait

Viva Kuwait


Vodafone Qatar


Etisalat Misr (Egypt)

Vodafone Egypt

Mobinil Egypt

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA)


MTN (South Africa)

Cell C

Telkom South Africa

WBS (Wireless Business Solutions) South Africa


Orange Uganda

Unitel Angola

Movicel Angola


Al Madar