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The total mobile services revenue in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3% from USD 12.7 billion in 2023 to USD 17.3 billion in 2028, mainly due to the rising adoption of mobile data services.

As per the Saudi Arabia Mobile Broadband Forecast by GlobalData in Q3 2023, there is a projected decline in mobile voice service revenue at a CAGR of 3.2% (from 2023 to 2028), aligning with a decrease in mobile voice ARPU levels. Conversely, mobile data service revenue is anticipated to experience the fastest growth, with a CAGR of 9.6%, driven by the increasing adoption of 5G services.

The expected rise in average monthly mobile data usage, from 44.3 GB in 2023 to 89.8 GB in 2028, is fueled by an increasing demand for high-bandwidth online video services and social media content accessed through smartphones. This trend is further propelled by data-centric plans provided by operators.

For instance, Zain KSA is offering an additional 150GB of social media data to access apps like Youtube and Facebook along with a 150GB prepaid mobile internet plan.

According to a telecommunications analyst, 4G is anticipated to remain the primary mobile technology in terms of subscriptions in Saudi Arabia until the year 2025. After three years, 5G subscriptions will surpass 4G subscriptions and will account for an 84% share of the total mobile subscriptions in 2028, driven by the 5G network expansion initiatives of the telecom regulator and mobile operators. 

Saudi Telecom Company (stc) led the mobile services market in Saudi Arabia (in terms of mobile subscriptions) in 2023, followed by Mobily. stc is expected to retain its leading position through 2028, primarily driven by its strong focus on accelerating the expansion of 5G services and exploring opportunities within the M2M/IoT segment.

Related: Saudi Arabia Embraces Caller ID Revolution From October 2023

Related: 5G: A Key Driver for Roaming Revenue Growth, Customer Retention in GCC

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