Archive for the ‘Reports’ Category

Arab World: Current State Of The Internet & Future Growth

| February 17, 2010 – 10:28 pm | comment 5 Comments

Over the past few days, a number of articles sprung up about reports and predictions that have been announced by various parties, analyzing where the Internet stands today in the Arab world, and where they see it a few years from now.

Here is a quick straight-forward round-up of these opinions, reports and projections:

Present day:

  • At present there are roughly around 56 million Arab internet users in the Arab world, representing only 17% of the 337 million population. [Madar Research]
  • There is not enough Arabic content on the internet to take full advantage of newly built broadband networks in the region. [Ali al Ahmed, chief strategist, Etisalat]
  • More people are getting online in the Arab world, and are relying more and more on the Internet for their news, videos, social interactions and more, but only 1% of all content online is in Arabic, not offering them much choice. [Arab Media Outlook report]
  • Online news consumption is gaining ground with 22% to 34% of the people using internet at least as much as print media to read news. [Arab Media Outlook report]
  • On average, 70% of the people in the four main Arab markets researched use social networks in some capacity and about 15% use social networking sites at least once a day. [Arab Media Outlook report]
  • About 6 million internet users in the Middle East – or about 12% of the total online population in the region – have access to broadband networks. [Arab Media Outlook report]
  • People in the Arab world are spending about three hours per day on the internet on average, which is already on par with the amount of time spent on TV. [Arab Media Outlook report]
  • About $56 million or 1% of the total media advertising spend is online in the Middle East. [Arab Media Outlook report]
Looking forward:
  • The number of Arabic internet users in the Middle East and North Africa is expected to grow by nearly 50% over the next three years, rising to 82 million users by 2013. [Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, Google]
  • Broadband usage in the region is expected to grow at an annual rate of 25% until 2013. [Arab Media Outlook report]
  • Broadband growth around the region over the next five years will stimulate the media industry, driven largely by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. [Arab Media Outlook report]
  • Internet advertising spend in the Middle East will rise to at least 4.5% by 2013, to around $266 million. [Arab Media Outlook report]

[Sources: The National, Zawya, BI-ME, Arabian Business, AMEInfo]

WebDialn@ Study Of Algerian Internet Users Results

| September 26, 2009 – 3:44 pm | comment 1 Comment

AlgeriaA new study entitled WebDialn@ (meaning ‘our web’ in the Arab Algerian accent) by Med&Com and Ideatic that polled about 6,000 Algerian internet users on ADSL, mobile internet, online advertising and e-commerce, estimates that 4.5 million people (12.8% of the Algerian population) use the internet, and that they heavily rely on it for news, research and activities such as social networking.

75% of Algerian internet users call the web an “indispensable tool”, with more than 90% confessing to “not being able to get by without going online ‘at least once a day’”. Most users reported spending two hours on average in front of their monitors.

The study also shows a gender gap and regional disparities in internet use. The typical Algerian Web user is described as male (72.2%), aged between 20 and 29 (29.2%), educated at least to the baccalaureate level + 1 (66.2%), and living in Algiers (29.28%). However, women represent just 25.8% of Algerian Web users.

The researchers reported that 82.6% of Web users communicate via email. Of this percentage, 42.5% also use instant messaging (such as MSN or Yahoo Messenger), 33.8% visit discussion forums, 33% make telephone calls over the Internet (Skype), and 9.9% use video conferencing.

Online media are the Algerian web users’ top online destinations, with 80.8% reading online newspapers, 19.9% listening to the radio, and 11.4% watching TV programmes. The internet is also used for research (80.7%) and making business contacts (22.9%). Social networks seem to be quite popular too with 40% of respondents having profiles on Facebook.

The study also shows that Algerians aren’t very active contributors, with 82.2% visiting online media-sharing sites (YouTube, DailyMotion, Flickr), but only 23.5% contributing.

Numbers from the Algerian Post and ICT Ministry say that there are 585,455 residential ADSL subscribers in the country. Nearly 65% of those surveyed said they can log on from home, compared with 24.6% who log on at work. Over 61% of web users say there are at least three people using the internet in a single home. Youth clubs and libraries with internet access, which used to be crammed, are hosting fewer users.

Some 72.1% of users say they are unsatisfied with the speed of their connection at home, and 79.7% complain about frequent service outages. 53.8% of Web users think the connection rates are affordable, while 43.8% of them think subscription rates are expensive or very expensive.

A presentation of the study results is available here in French: WebDialn@ Study Results (PDF)

[Source: Magharebia]

MENA Broadband Subscribers To Reach 27 Million By 2014

| September 22, 2009 – 11:19 am | comment No Comments

Informa Telecoms & MediaAccording to Informa Telecoms & Media’s new Middle East & North Africa Broadband report, the MENA region will continue to experience some of the world’s highest growth rates in broadband subscriber numbers.

The report states that the 66 percent growth that the region witnessed in 2008 will be leveling out at around 24.9 percent (compound annual growth rate) by 2014. At that point there should be a total of 27 million high-speed internet subscriptions in the region, up from the 7.1 Million subscriptions in Q1 2009..

The report cites the demand for media services as one of the major bandwidth drivers.

“The prospects for broadband in the MENA region will continue to grow as operators improve infrastructure to make their services more attractive with multi-play offers. In addition media companies will begin to respond with more relevant online content aimed specifically at the region,” said Mohammed Hamza, senior broadband analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

“Operators across the region are beginning to invest heavily in getting high-speed, high-capacity and cost effective telecoms networks into the region and the current infrastructure is much more advanced than perhaps they have been given credit for,” added Hamza.

The largest broadband subscription bases in the MENA region are in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Algeria, Morocco and Iran; representing 79 percent of the MENA’s total broadband subscriptions – 3.8 million from a total of 4.8 million.

Eight countries in the region had a household penetration of more than 10 percent at the end of 2008 – four exceeded 60 percent and two were greater than 70 percent, the report said.

However, excluding the top four, the average penetration rate across the region was just 8.7 percent.

[Source: Digital Production Middle East, Arabian Business]

MENA Twitter Habits Survey Results Released By Spot On PR

| September 10, 2009 – 1:22 pm | comment 2 Comments

Spot On PRA survey of Twitter users has shown the microblogging social media platform not only continues to attract new users throughout the Middle East and North Africa but is also starting to affect the way that brands are perceived.

According to the Middle East & North Africa Twitter Demographics & User Habits Survey, published by Spot On PR, over 90% of users in the region say they have found out about a new product or service through Twitter and over 60% have had their perceptions of a brand changed by Twitter.

Carrington Malin, managing director of Spot On Public Relations, said: “Twitter’s fast growth, coupled with the high level of activity amongst the region’s users, is making a number of key regional organisations sit up and take notice. We hope that this survey of MENA Twitter demographics and user habits will provide marketers with a baseline from which to further explore the opportunities that Twitter is opening up.”

While some 70% of users surveyed said they had formed a positive perception of a brand through their interactions over Twitter, over 50% had also formed negative perceptions of a brand. A small but influential crowd of opinion leaders, many Middle East Twitter users were closely linked with the advertising, marketing, public relations and media industries, some 35% of respondents in all.

59% of respondents said they interacted frequently with journalists, some 76% interacted frequently with bloggers and over 65% actually being contributors to a blog themselves.


The Internet Captures Eyeballs Away From TV In Egypt

| September 9, 2009 – 12:09 pm | comment No Comments

Arab Advisors GroupA new Arab Advisors’ survey of Internet users in Egypt revealed that the peak time for browsing the Internet for entertainment and personal issues is after 9 PM which coincides with the peak time for TV viewing, confirming that Internet -especially broadband- has become a major competitor for TV amongst Internet users in Egypt

This online survey of Egypt Internet users revealed that the Internet was the most common source amongst respondents for getting daily and global news (69.7%), getting information (97.6%) and for looking for job vacancies (57.1%).

The survey also revealed that international players have the largest share of email and search services where 85.8% of respondents, who have an email account, use Yahoo and 99.0% of respondents, who use search engines, use Google. Regional players lag far behind with shares of less than 4%.

In addition to that, it showed that a majority (94.7%) of respondents had a landline phone in their house. 93.5% of respondents had a desktop computer, which is expected as the survey is of Internet users in Egypt.

The new survey of the Internet users in Egypt was concluded by the Arab Advisors Group on August 2009, and released under the title ‘A Survey of Internet Use and Online Advertising Consumption and Effectiveness in Egypt‘ (Table of Contents PDF) on September 1, 2009. The survey covers media consumption habits, online use habits and trends, online advertising and online security.

The survey results encompass answers from 3,348 randomly targeted respondents from the general internet population. Quality control was conducted by Arab Advisors Group’s team, and they claim a confidence level of 99% with a margin of error of less than 3% for it.

IMRG Capgemini: Online Shopping On The Rise In The Middle East

| September 2, 2009 – 9:05 am | comment No Comments

imrgAccording to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, online sales showed a significant increase this year across the Middle East.

Shoppers spent US$8.2 billion online in July 2009, 15.7% more than was spent in June 2009 and 16.8% more than July 2008.

The driving force for the increase appeared to be the clothing, footwear and accessories sector, which showed growth of 18% month on month and 17% year on year.

Retailers across Middle East are predicted to sell US$90 billion in goods and services online in 2010, up 37% from last year.

E-commerce is still a key growth market for the Middle East and has seems to have shifted more into focus for a number of retailers in the midst of the Global recession.

[Source: BI-ME]

Growing Internet Usage In The Middle East & North Africa

| August 24, 2009 – 8:58 pm | comment 4 Comments

EuromonitorAccess to the Internet has been expanding dramatically in the Middle East and North Africa over the past years. A new study by Euromonitor International provides some interesting general key indicators, as well as some indicators on the effect of this growth on the business environment, government and future prospects.

The following is a selection of some of the key points from the study:

  • Internet access in the Middle East and North Africa has expanded rapidly since 2003, reaching 85.5 million users in 2008, or 5.2% of the world’s users (The study includes Iran in these numbers);
  • Internet users in the region are typically under 35 years old and predominantly male, although there are indications that the digital gap between men and women is narrowing;
  • The young profile makes Internet users a promising consumer market as they are more likely to be influenced by global consumer trends. The dominance of Arabic is an advantage as it allows addressing a wide audience in many countries;
  • The spread of the Internet is part of a wider trend of growing access to media and communications in the region. In the 1990s and 2000s satellite TV systems and mobile phones became a standard household item even in poor countries in the Middle East;
  • Judging by blogs, Internet users seek primarily content relating closely to their country, rather than regional issues. Thus, bloggers tend to cluster according to country with interests varying between politics, religion and culture;
  • Online retailing offers consumers greater choice and convenience. Internet retailing is developing rapidly in the region, especially (though not exclusively) in the small Gulf states such as Kuwait and UAE. From international brand megastores offering electronics and entertainment products, to family-owned sweet shops, businesses are expanding their online presence to capture the growing market;
  • Internet literacy improves chances in the labour market. In addition, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector is growing across the Middle East and North Africa, providing employment opportunities in countries such as Jordan and Egypt, which suffer from high unemployment;
  • Governments across the region are investing in e-government. According to a United Nations survey from 2008, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Egypt all substantially improved their e-government services between 2005 and 2008, and their level of readiness was above the global average. New e-government services in Middle East countries included online consultation, forms downloading and submission, and online payments for government services.
For more indicators from the study, you can go here:
Regional Focus: Growing Internet usage in the Middle East and North Africa

Total Country Connectivity Measure For The Arab World

| August 20, 2009 – 8:56 am | comment No Comments

The annual results of Arab Advisors Group’s Total Country Connectivity Measure (TCCM) reveal substantial –mostly cellular service driven- improvements in overall scores. The Arab broadband Internet markets also registered very positive growth.

The United Arab Emirates is the most connected country in the Arab World according to the Arab Advisors Group’s annual report; Bahrain and Saudi Arabia followed in second and third ranks respectively.

The Arab Advisors Group calculates its Total Country Connectivity Measure (TCCM) by adding the household mainlines penetration, cellular penetration, and Internet users penetration rates in each country. The household mainlines penetration is measured by dividing the residential mainlines by the number of households in each country.

The TCCM shows the extent of connectivity of individuals in a certain country whether via fixed lines, cellular lines and/or Internet. Of course, there will be an overlap since many individuals will be using these three communications technologies at the same time. However, the measure still yields an accurate and informative picture on the level of ICT services penetration in each country.

As previously mentioned the Total Country Connectivity Measure results for 2009 revealed that UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia still dominate the top three spots as the highest adopters of telecommunication services, with values of 321%, 249% and 248% respectively.
The results for the rest of the Arab World came as follows: Qatar (205%), Libya (199%), Kuwait (184%), Oman (170%), Algeria (141%), Jordan (141%), Syria (129%), Egypt (128%), Tunisia (128%), Morocco (127%), Lebanon (125%), Iraq (100%), Palestine (95%), Mauritania (74%), Yemen (55%) and in last place Sudan with a TCCM value of 34%.

“Only four out of the nineteen countries covered in this year’s study have a total country connectivity measure that exceeds a 200%. This indicates a substantial potential for more growth in most Arab markets, especially in the under penetrated Internet markets.” Mr. Andrawes Snobar, Arab Advisors’ Research Manager wrote in the report.

Active Facebook Users In Middle East & North Africa

| August 19, 2009 – 4:24 pm | comment 8 Comments

FacebookA newly released study by O’Reilly Research, focusing on the numbers of active Facebook users around the world by country and region (August 2009), shows the following numbers coming out of the Middle East & North Africa:

  • 8.3% of active Facebook users come from the Middle East & North Africa, representing a 7.9% penetration.
  • The number of users under 25 years of age represent 60% of active Facebook users in the region.
  • Fastest growth in user adoption in the region is in the 55+ age group.
  • Male users outnumber Female users, with 59% of the user base being male, and 35% Female. (The difference consists in the users who declined to state their gender.)
  • Among the Arab countries, the top 10 countries in active Facebook user numbers are:
    • Egypt (1,820,000)
    • Saudi Arabia (920,000)
    • Morocco (860,000)
    • UAE (840,000)
    • Tunisia (690,000)
    • Lebanon (680,000)
    • Jordan (490,000)
    • Kuwait (220,000)
    • Qatar (160,000)
    • Palestine (150,000)

facebook active MENA users

The numbers were determined based on user IP addresses for location, as well as user supplied demographics (age, gender, etc.)

For more details and numbers, you can check out the O’Reilly presentation: Active Facebook Users By Country & Region: August 2009.

TeleGeography: Middle East Sees Growth In Broadband Numbers

| June 21, 2009 – 10:37 am | comment No Comments

The Middle East has witnessed a growth in wireless and broadband subscribers despite the global market showing a decline in 2009, a new research has found.

According to TeleGeography, a telecommunications research, analysis and consulting company, wireless subscribers in the Middle East at the end of Q1 2009 were at 232 million, which is a three per cent growth from Q4 2008 and a 22 per cent growth from Q1 of that year.

Globally, wireless subscriber additions in Q1 2009 declined slightly, as 153 million net new subscribers were added, 10 million fewer than in Q4 2008.

About 49 per cent of Q1 wireless subscriber growth came from India and China; growth slowed in many other markets, with Western and Eastern Europe being particularly slow. Countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom were all essentially flat or even in slight decline

John Dinsdale from TeleGeography Research, said: “Broadband subscribers at the end of Q1 2009 in the Middle East were at 12 million – a four per cent growth from Q4 2008 and a 25 per cent growth from Q1 2008. Globally, broadband subscriptions during the quarter were at 14 million, in line with Q4 2008 additions. China accounted for 30 per cent of global growth, while the United States was the only other country to add more than one million subscribers in the quarter.”

However, the Middle East did have to catch up in the telecom service provider segment, Dinsdale said. “Of the world’s top 20 telecom service providers, none are headquartered in the Middle East, and Saudi Telecom (STC) was the only one closest to joining the list.”

[Source: Zawya]

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