Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has announced that the number of mobile phone subscriptions reached 41.1 million at the end of September 2009, up from 33.6 million a year earlier. As mobile penetration exceeded 160%, the regulator revealed that over 85% of all subscriptions were to pre-paid deals, allowing consumers to own multiple SIMs and patronise whichever of the country’s three operators represents the best deal at any given time.
Meanwhile the broadband market continues to develop, with 1.98 million customers at the end of September 2009, 1.24 million of which were contracted to DSL-based services, while the remainder were subscribed to WiMAX and HSPA networks. The CITC estimated that 31 out of 100 households across the kingdom had access to broadband services at the same date. Fixed line subscription remained stable in the nine months ended 30 September 2009, with 4.1 million accesses in service and teledensity at 16.3%.