Research and Markets
announced the addition of the “Kuwait – Telecoms, Mobile & Broadband” report to
BuddeComms annual publication, Kuwait- Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband, provides
a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the
telecommunications and digital media markets in Kuwait.
Kuwait is one of the wealthier members of the GCC, ranking third in GDP per
capita behind Qatar and the UAE. The vast majority of its government income is
derived from oil revenues. Like the other smaller GCC members, it has a very
high expatriate population, forming at least two thirds of the whole. As in
other similar countries, this makes its total population very fluid and thus all
penetration statistics very unreliable and distorted.
Kuwaits telecoms industry is something of an anachronism in the region due to
the lack of liberalisation of the market. Not only does Kuwait not have an
independent regulator, the Ministry of Communications is both the regulatory
entity and also the operating entity for fixed-line services. Plans were drafted
for the establishment of a telecommunications regulatory authority in 2007 but
have yet to come to fruition.
The Ministry does not charge customers for calls made from fixed lines to mobile
phones. It also controls the international gateway and does not have an
interconnection system with any of the mobile operators. As the Ministry
controls all international charges, this prevents local mobile operators from
offering promotions and discounts on overseas calls. It has also preventing
mobile operator Zain from extending its One Network service, which gives free
voice and data roaming for subscribers across most of its network, to its
subscribers in its home base of Kuwait.
A further problem with the lack of independence and corporatisation in the
fixed-line sector is a lack of available information on the sector.
Competition does exist in the Internet provision sector, now with four major
ISPs. In July 2009 the Ministry of Communications stated that it would suspend
the licences of a number of ISPs who had begun providing WiMAX services. The
Ministry said it was preparing to submit a fresh tender for wireless Internet
and WiMAX services.
Kuwaits mobile sector presents a different picture to its fixed-lines sector.
For many years two very strong operators have shared a comfortable duopoly. They
have enjoyed high tariffs in their home market and have used this base to extend
internationally. MTC, known as Zain, had extended its operations to 24 countries
by mid-2009. However, its profits from its Kuwaiti operations still made up
around 50% of its total Group profit at end-2008. Likewise its competitor
Wataniya, now a subsidiary itself of Qtel of Qatar, has extended into five
countries in total but its Kuwaiti profits were higher than its Group profits at
The two incumbent mobile operators, who have shared the market for the past ten
years, were joined in December 2008 by a third operator, Kuwait Telecom Company
- known as Viva, with Saudi Telecom Company as a major investor. All three
mobile operators have the government as a major shareholder, owning
approximately 25% in each case.
By end-March 2009 Viva was reported as having secured a 10% market share. Based
on numbers reported by Zain and Wataniya, Vivas gain would appear to have come
mostly at Zains expense.
Key Topics Covered:
1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
4. Regulatory environment
5. Telecom operators in Kuwait
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
7. Broadband and Internet market
9. Digital media
10. Mobile communications
For more information visit
Research and Markets
Laura Wood, Senior Manager,
U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907
Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716
Copyright Business Wire 2010