Arab world broadband penetration rate: On top Qatar 8% and Sudan last 0.02%

14 May, 2008

According to a recent research by ArabAdvisors Group, fixed broadband penetration as a percent of total population in the Arab World remains low -compared to World standards-.

My take is: these numbers will change as many WIMAX deployments are launched or being launched in the MENA region, and other government initiatives in countries such as Jordan and Tunisia to spread PCs and Laptops ownership with partnerships with the privet sector to offer reasonable PCs/Laptops prices and with easier financing options.

The Research found that by end of 2007, fixed line broadband penetration as a percent of total population ranged from 8% in Qatar to a mere 0.02% in Sudan in the Arab World. Qatar, UAE and Bahrain lead with 8%, 7.8% and 7% respectively. They are followed by Saudi Arabia (2.4%), Jordan (1.6%), Palestine (1.5%), Morocco (1.5%), Tunisia (1.1%), Lebanon (1%), Algeria (0.9%), Oman (0.7%), Egypt (0.6%), Mauritania (around 0.1%), Yemen (0.05%), Syria (0.04%) and Sudan (0.02%).

“While absolute broadband penetration in the Arab World may seem low by industrial countries standards, the effective household broadband penetration is much higher. This is related to higher number of people per household as well as line sharing. For example, a new Arab Advisors survey in Egypt revealed that 63.4% of Egyptian households that use the ADSL service, share their ADSL connection with neighbors. A massive 81.9% of households that use shared ADSL lines share them with more than three neighboring households.” Jawad J. Abbassi, Founder and General Manager of Arab Advisors Group noted.

“Based on the survey results, the average number of households sharing one ADSL connection is 2.98. Multiplying the reported number of lines by this figure yields an estimate for households with ADSL connections in Egypt of 956,000 households by end of 2007, much higher than the number of accounts. While ADSL sharing is illegal in many countries and does negatively affect quality, the Arab Advisors Group believes that the practice is widespread in the Arab World. The silver lining is that more households are connected to broadband Internet services which would positively affect adoption of Internet-based services such as e-commerce, multimedia, user generated content and e-government services.” Abbassi added.

Source: ArabAdvisors Press Release.

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