A new report has predicted that the Middle East will adopt the LTE mobile broadband standard at a faster rate than any other market, with the Gulf countries leading the way.
The study by Pyramid Research found that LTE penetration in the Gulf would reach 11.1 percent of all mobile subscriptions by 2014, compared to a 7.7 percent adoption rate in Western Europe.
“We expect LTE adoption in the region to reach 6.1 percent of all mobile subscriptions by 2014,” said Kerem Arsal, analyst, Pyramid Research. “This is due to a strong demand for data services, reliance on mobile rather than fixed access technologies and the increasingly competitive approaches of the telecoms regulators.”
LTE enables wireless high-bandwidth broadband connections, opening up the possibility of regular web streaming of video service to mobile devices.
Arsal highlights Bahrain, UAE and Saudi Arabia as LTE pioneers in the Middle East.
Additionally, the report notes a growth of mobile data revenues of 34 percent in the Middle East last year compared with just seven percent in Western Europe during the same period.
“Throughout the Gulf region, the absence of widespread fixed broadband infrastructure forced most subscribers to rely on mobile technologies for their internet needs. As a result some markets in the Middle East experienced huge leaps in mobile broadband. These are the most suitable settings for LTE. Gulf nations have already developed much expertise in upgraded 3G networks; this will lead to a smoother transition to LTE,” added Arsal.