Jordan 2nd Most Competitive Cellular Market In Arab World – Study
Published Sunday, 22 July 2012 12:07 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
The "Cellular Competition Intensity Index 2012" ranked Saudi Arabia as the most competitive cellular market in the Arab world, while the Palestinian territories ranked third.
Egypt ranked fourth, followed by Oman, Morocco, Iraq, Tunisia, Bahrain, Algeria, Sudan, Mauritania, Yemen, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Syria, Lebanon and Libya.
The study took into account the number of operators, packages and services available in each of the 19 countries covered by the Arab Advisers Group.
Telecom experts attributed Jordan's ranking to the "fierce" competition among telecom companies, which led to a "sharp" drop in the price of services.
"Prices of telecom services in Jordan are the lowest in the Arab world. This is a major reason why the market is ranked among the most competitive," Raslan Diranieh, chief financial officer of the Jordan Telecom Group, said on Saturday.
"In Jordan, mobile users no longer pay per minute of the phone calls they make. All telecom companies offer users unlimited minutes of calls and SMSs in return for a monthly or weekly subscription and this is not common in many telecom markets in the Arab world," Diranieh, told The Jordan Times over the phone.
Mobile penetration in Jordan reached 123 per cent by the end of March, according to figures released by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, which indicated on its website that there were 7.758 million mobile subscriptions in the country.
Of the total, 2.909 million were Zain Jordan subscribers, followed by 2.811 million with Orange Jordan and 2.037 million with Umniah.
"Prices of telecom services in Jordan are much cheaper than those in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states," said Diranieh.
A telecom sector expert agreed.
"Mobile operators in Jordan have regularly reduced prices over the past years. Companies attempt to attract subscribers by introducing lucrative offers for their services and this is what users want," said the expert, who preferred not to be named.
"In Jordan, users care more about prices rather the service itself," he noted.
Diranieh had the same opinion.
"In Jordan, users are after cheap and competitive prices most of the time," he said.
Mohammad Alawneh, enterprise and data solutions manager at Umniah, noted that mobile operators' offers need to be competitive to attract users, because of the "difficult economic conditions".
"The cellular market in Jordan is saturated. Existing mobile operators try to increase their shares in the market by luring users from rival companies," Alawneh told The Jordan Times.