Middle East to Surpass Europe in LTE Early Adoption

LTE penetration rate of Middle East LTE pioneers Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and UAE is expected to reach 11.8 percent, more than the projected Western European average of 7.7 percent by 2014, according to a new report from Pyramid Research

The report examines the market criteria that will drive the early LTE deployments in the Middle East. By relating the driving factors to our forecasts for LTE adoption, it shows why certain markets are better positioned for growth than others in the region.

“We expect LTE adoption in the region to reach 6.1 percent of all mobile subscriptions by 2014, due to strong growth of demand for data services, reliance on mobile rather than fixed access technologies, and the increasingly competitive approaches of the telecom regulators,” says Kerem Arsa, Pyramid Research Analyst. 

Middle East operators are already working on LTE. STC (Saudi Telecom Company), the main telecommunications carrier in Saudi Arabia has planned to conduct an end-to-end Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial in the second half of 2010. Zain Bahrain showcased the region’s first LTE call in March,  and achieved a download data speed of 70 Mbps. Earlier this month Etisalat announced  launch of LTE in the Middle East by end of 2010. Through LTE, Etisalat will be able to provide downlink speed of 140Mbps and 50Mbps uplink speed, reaching yet another technological milestone, according to Mr. Abdulla AL Ahmad, Vice President, Enterprise Sales at Etisalat.

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