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UAE and Saudi to see 4G dominate mobile broadband

Mobile operators in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are expected to migrate to 4G technologies soon to accommodate the surge in data traffic, according to new a report from Frost & Sullivan.


Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax) are the two competing 4G technologies expected to drive the growth in mobile broadband, globally, according to a Frost & Sullivan Report, ?LTE Outlook for Saudi Arabia, and the UAE?.

This surge in use of mobile broadband is attributed to the proliferation of smartphones and smart devices along with the increasing use of social networking and blogging tools, amongst others.

Mobile broadband is also gaining momentum because of the users? need for seamless mobility and continuous Internet connectivity. The increasing popularity of the bandwidth-intensive mobile applications has further boosted the use of mobile broadband. To sustain the momentum, mobile operators in Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. are progressively committing themselves to LTE technology, as a natural progression towards 4G services.

According to the report, Saudi Arabia is one of the largest mobile markets in the Gulf region, with 51.6 million mobile subscribers and mobile penetration of 186 per cent; whereas the UAE boasts of a highly-saturated mobile market, with mobile penetration of 197.2 per cent, the report said.

The mobile consumers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have a strong demand for mobile data services. Hence, operators are continually upgrading their networks to offer high-speed data services. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also expected to witness high LTE growth, with compound annual growth rates (CAGR) of 54 and 85 per cent, respectively.

The Frost & Sullivan Report further indicated that LTE is expected to lead the shift toward 4G technologies, with the developing ecosystem and increasing support from the equipment vendors.