Kuwaiti mobile penetration slow to grow but VIVA increases choice

Kuwaiti mobile penetration is unlikely to be stimulated by the entrance of third operator VIVA, which began operations at the end of 2008. Although VIVA aims to gain 10% market share - roughly 300,000 subscribers - in its first year of operations, the overall affect on penetration will be minimal. A report from Al Mal Capital reports that Kuwaiti mobile penetration at the end of 2008 was 86% and will reach 100% only in 2010 making it something of a laggard compared to other GCC countries, which include the UAE with penetration of 193%.
It's not all bad news for Kuwait, Al Mal reports that the countries high GDP per capita, at US$46,396 and its high percentage of residents from overseas, although waning in the recession, is likely to further stimulate demand. Indeed, Arab Advisors reported last year that 90% of Kuwait's outgoing international calls are from mobiles.
VIVA however, does have a significant part to play. It is positioned to break down the cosy duopoly of incumbents Zain and Wataniya, which have achieved some the highest mobile tariffs in the region and generated ARPU of around US$60 in 2008, according to Al Mal.
Anthony Plewes

After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.