By Andy Sambidge
Saudi Arabia's STC ranks third largest operator in the region in new industry report.
Mobile phone penetration rates in the UAE are the highest in the Arab world, according to the latest report by the Arab Advisors Group.
As at the end of September 2009, the rate for mobile phone users in the UAE stood at 193.5 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia with a rate of 165.5 percent.
The report, which covered 47 mobile operators in 17 Arab countries, also showed that there was a total of 241.3 million cellular subscribers by the end of Q3 2009.
This represented a 16.6 percent growth compared to the 206.9 million subscribers recorded at year-end 2008.
According to the Arab Advisors Group report, MobiNil (Egypt), Vodafone Egypt (Egypt) and STC (Saudi Arabia) were the largest operators in terms of subscriber bases.
MobiNil and Vodafone Egypt boasted 23.4 million and 22.1 million subscribers respectively while STC ended the first nine months of 2009 with 20 million subscribers.
Three new cellular operators launched in the region during the period covered by the report - Zain in Saudi Arabia, Viva (STC) in Kuwait, Vodafone in Qatar.
Inspite of having one of the highest mobile penetration, we pay a premium for our telecom needs. Be it internet or be it mobile phones, the prices are way more than others pay around the world. Lately, the best offer that I have seen in the media is the du offer for 60 fils per minute to many countries. Quite a saving when compared to Etisalat. (But have heard that it has its own connectivity issues. )