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Network Sharing Tops Cost-Cutting Measures For Operators In The Middle East And North Africa

The effects of the recession and market saturation are forcing telecoms operators in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to reconsider their strategies. Cost cutting, often through network sharing and managed services, is now on the agenda and is one of the strategies covered in Analysys Mason's new report MENA telecoms market: regional overview 2009. According to the report, saturation in the region's mobile markets is also leading to a focus on new sources of growth, such as mobile broadband and IPTV services, and segment targeting.

Daniel Jones, Analyst at Analysys Mason and lead author of the report says, "Operators are under pressure to reduce costs. In markets where network coverage is no longer perceived as a competitive differentiator, operators will consider network sharing. Managed services are also proving popular as a means of streamlining operations."

However, Jones says differentiation is still occurring in other areas of the industry. "As the mobile voice services market approaches saturation in several countries, operators are shifting their focus towards reducing subscriber churn, targeting specific customer segments and launching new service offerings. 'Zain Create' and du's 'Elite plan' are examples of such strategies."

The report, which discusses the key trends in the MENA telecoms market and profiles the six major regional operators, finds that:

  • network sharing and managed services are both on many operators' agendas as a potential method of maintaining profitability
  • although operators are reducing costs in their established businesses, they are continuing to consider mergers and acquisitions, as well as licensing opportunities
  • mobile and WiMAX-based services are accounting for an increasing share of the region's broadband markets, and in some cases are attracting the majority of net additions
  • operators are relying on mobile content and IPTV services to provide competitive differentiation and increase revenue
  • sub-branding is becoming more prominent in an effort to appeal to niche segments.

For more details on the report, which is priced at EUR1800, please visit

About Analysys Mason (
Analysys Mason delivers strategy advice, operations support, and market intelligence worldwide to leading commercial and public-sector organisations in telecoms, IT, and media. Analysys Mason consistently delivers significant and sustainable business benefits. We are respected worldwide for the exceptional quality of our work, our independence and the flexibility of our teams in responding to client needs. The company has over 300 staff worldwide, with headquarters in London and offices in Cambridge, Dubai, Dublin, Edinburgh, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Paris, Singapore and Washington DC.

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