Due to investments in 3G networks, smartphone sales in Egypt are expected to nearly double to 32 percent of all handsets sold by 2016, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (PR).
The report, released Thursday, offers what PR has described as a precise profile of the country's telecommunications, media and technology sectors based on proprietary data from research in the market.
In addition, it provides a detailed competitive analysis of both the fixed and mobile sectors, tracks the market shares of technologies and services and monitors the introduction and spread of new technologies.
“All three Egyptian MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) offer services over HSPA (high speed packet access) networks, which play a central role in spreading Internet access across the country,” said Olena Kaplan, associate analyst at PR.
In January 2011, when the ousted president Hosni Mubarak regime forced operators in Egypt to block access to the Internet, many social network websites were accessed and used via texting and mobile connectivity.
“Today, the mobile Internet plays a crucial role in Egyptians’ choice of Internet access, and operators, aware of this preference, are continuously investing in their 3G networks,” she noted.
The report, entitled ‘Egypt: Fixed and Mobile Data Service Revenue to Double by 2016,’ is part of PR's Africa and Middle East Intelligence Report Series.
The Egypt telecom market generated US$5.7 billion in service revenue in 2011, said PR, adding: “Despite demonstrating some stagnation in 2011, particularly in the first half, due to political uncertainty, looking forward we expect a healthy growth at a CAGR (compound and growth rate) of 5.1 percent between 2011 and 2016.”
According to the report, the highest growth is expected to come from data services (fixed and mobile), which will also be supported by the government’s national broadband plan to expand network coverage.
“We expect broadband to generate a cumulative revenue opportunity of US$3.0 billion over the forecast period,” PR noted.
As the mobile penetration reached 97 percent in 2011, most of the new subscriptions will be second and third SIM cards.
However, even as such, PR said there was room for growth, especially in mobile data.
While expecting the revenue growth from mobile voice services to almost come to a halt between 2011 and 2016, it said mobile data would accumulate to generate a total of US$11.1billion between 2011 and 2016.
On the fixed side, the decline of circuit-switched voice will continue steadily, generating a revenue of just over half a billion dollars in 2016, the report forecast.
The Egypt Intelligence Report is considered the industry’s best available analysis on market trends, regulatory environments, and competitive dynamics, providing detailed competitive analysis on fixed and mobile sectors, tracking market adoption of new technologies and services such as WiMAX, IPTV, and VoIP.