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Telecoms insights for the Middle East and North Africa

Karim Yaici Senior Analyst, Research

"Welcome to the first edition of Analysys Mason's newsletter for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which features five articles that are relevant to operators in the region."

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Telecoms insights in the Middle East and North Africa newsletter front cover

This edition of Analysys Mason's 'Telecoms insights for the Middle East and North Africa' features five articles showing our experts' thinking on a range of topics that are relevant to operators in the region.

Networks. Operators and regulators in the Gulf region are preparing to launch 5G before 2020, despite ongoing questions about the business case. In this article, we review some of the recent announcements made with regard to 5G frequency and roll-out plans in the Gulf region and discuss the relevance of some use cases.

Customer satisfaction. According to our annual Connected Consumer Survey, telecoms operators in the MENA region often score poorly on customer satisfaction (measured using NPS). The growing adoption of 4G has helped operators to drive data consumption but that did not necessarily translate into improved satisfaction levels. We identify the most important factors that are affecting customer satisfaction and discuss how operators can keep their very high-data users happy.

Over-the-top services. Mobile operators in MENA have historically taken a strong defensive position to fend off the OTT threat. However, operators should consider a more proactive approach to monetising VoIP usage, for instance, by offering legal alternatives. We share some primary research on OTT usage in the region and discuss recent examples of bundling OTT voice services in the UAE.

IoT/M2M services. We present some of the IoT initiatives led by operators in the Middle East region, with a particular focus on the deployments of LPWA (low-power wide area) networks. We also provide an analysis of key trends and drivers of the IoT demand in the region, including the total addressable market per sector.

Digital experience. Many regional operators have made progress towards digitalising the customer experience. In this article, we introduce Analysys Mason's Digital eXperience Index (DXI), a tool that can be used to measure the degree of digitalisation of consumers' experiences. We also review some of the operators' customer experience digitalisation initiatives, from self-help apps to digital-first brands.