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Iraq ousts Jordan as most competitive Arab cellular market

Iraq is now the most competitive Arab cellular market. This year’s Cellular Competition Intensity Index, instituted by Arab Advisors Group, reveals that Jordan (most competitive market in 2007 and 2008) has come in second.

Iraq has replaced Jordan as the Arab World’s most competitive cellular market. Iraq’s competitiveness is assessed at 91%, Jordan’s 82.7%. A new report, Competition Levels in Arab Cellular Markets, has just been released by the Arab Advisors Group’s Telecoms Strategic Research Service, which bases its findings on its Cellular Competition Intensity Index (CCII). Last year and in 2007 Jordan was identified as most competitive market. 

The Arab Advisors Group devised the CCII to rate and properly assess the intensity level of competition in the Arab World’s cellular markets. The index takes into account the number of operators, packages, and services available in each of 19 countries, with each category assigned a certain weight according to its importance as an indicator of competition. The categories include the following: 

  • number of licensed and expected operators; 

  • number of working operators; market share of largest operator; 

  • number of current prepaid plans; 

  • number of current postpaid plans; 

  • availability of corporate offers; 

  • availability of 3G services;

  • and availability of operational International Long Distance (ILD) competition. 

The CCII results for 2009 revealed that Iraq tops the score as most competitive Arab market with 91.0%,  followed by Jordan (82.7%), Saudi Arabia (79.2%), Palestine (78.6%), Egypt (69.8%), Morocco (67.7%), Algeria (64.6%), Sudan (63.3%), Mauritania (61.3%), Yemen (57.6%), Bahrain (55.2%), Kuwait (54.4%), Tunisia (51.5%), UAE (50.2%), Oman (44.8%), Libya (35.7%), Syria (34.2%), Lebanon (33.6%), and finally Qatar (31.5%).

Andrawes Snobar, Arab Advisors’ Research Manager, comments in the report, “Iraq's performance was excellent in the CCII, ranking first with a score as high as 91.0% and dethroning Jordan. There are five working operators in the country, three of which operate a national mobile licence, while the remaining two are regional operators operating in the Kurdistan region. While Iraq’s largest operator (Zain) has a substantial market share of more than 50%, Iraq’s score benefited from the availability of corporate offers, operational ILD competition and 3G services.”  

Competition Levels in Arab Cellular Markets was released to the Arab Advisors Group’s Telecoms Strategic Research Service subscribers on July 28, 2009. It can be purchased from the Arab Advisors Group for US$950.  * The Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region has already produced 1,600 reports on the Arab World’s communications, media and financial markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group’s Strategic Research Services (Media and Telecom). To date, Arab Advisors Group has served 545 global and regional companies by providing research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients.  

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