Examining Saudi Arabia’s Telecom Market: Growth, Players, and Opportunities:
The telecommunications market is one of Saudi Arabia’s fastest-growing markets. This is unsurprising because technology has become the centre of attention for global investors and stakeholders. In recent years, the Saudi government has announced its plans to enhance its telecom market. This move is primarily targeted at boosting the Kingdom’s economic diversification.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with Oman to boost Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in both countries. A similar agreement was also signed with South Africa. However, the full extent of Saudi Arabia’s plans for its telecom sector was set out in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.
Vision 2030 contains the transformative plans the Saudi Arabian government intends to achieve by 2030. The telecoms market is one of the most prominent sectors in it. For instance, the Kingdom intends to achieve high-speed internet for more than 90 percent of households in highly populated areas and 66 percent in urban areas. To aid this goal, Saudi Arabia has announced that it will invest significantly in new technologies like 5G. Such investments will likely improve the Kingdom’s digital infrastructure and increase internet penetration.
Growth of the Saudi Arabian Telecom Market
As earlier stated, the telecom market is rapidly growing in Saudi Arabia. The market was valued at $13.9 billion in 2021 and is projected to increase at a rate of 3.4% (Compound Annual Growth Rate). This indicates that the sector will only get bigger in the coming years.
The rapid growth of the telecom sector can be ascribed to the Kingdom’s large youth population. Two-thirds of the Saudi Arabian population is under 35 years, and this population is increasingly demanding telecom services to keep up with the global technological wave. This increasing demand has significantly contributed to the consistent growth of the Kingdom’s telecom sector.
Another factor that has driven the growth of telecoms in Saudi Arabia is the government’s strategy. Under the country’s ICT Sector Strategy for 2023, the government has committed to supporting local investments in the telecommunications sector.
The recent introduction of the new telecommunications and information technology law is another milestone for the Saudi Arabian telecommunications industry. The law provides specific rules on competition that adequately protect the rights of consumers. It also strengthens the licensing regime in the telecom sector.
Opportunities in the Telecom Market
Saudi Arabia currently has one of the largest telecommunications markets in the Middle East. While major players in the sector include Go Telecom, Zain, and the Saudi Telecommunication Company, there are opportunities for smaller companies to occupy a significant market share in the industry.
The mobile services market will likely get more prominent in the coming years. This is due to the increasing demand for mobile subscriptions and higher smartphone usage. This market segment is a great opportunity for players seeking to break into the telecom market.
Increased technological adoption and smartphone usage worldwide will ensure that the telecom market remains lucrative. Within the Saudi Arabian context, new players have numerous opportunities to break into the market and become profitable.