MENA mobile sector matures

26 September 2012

DUBAI: Digital media consumption in the Middle East and North Africa is growing at unprecedented rates thanks to the increased usage of tablets and other mobile devices, according to new research.

The Mobile Measure study, compiled by research firm Effective Measure, collected data from over 6,000 respondents across Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates during the second quarter of 2012.

It found that the number of people signing up for unlimited data packages increased from Q1 to Q2 2012, with 40% of consumers now having unlimited data plans.

The region now has some of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world, following recent improvements to infrastructure.

At the same time, Effective Measure noted that consumers are becoming shrewder and more demanding, resulting in increased telecommunications competition across both prepaid and postpaid contracts.

Suppliers are also becoming more savvy in their marketing communications, tailoring their messaging to local culture.

Brendon Ogilvy, Effective Measure's regional MD, said: "The rise of digital media consumption in the Middle East has highlighted the importance of local and cultural understanding.

"Content creators and global brands are starting to capitalize on peak engagement times such as Ramadan, when working hours are shorter but consumers are prolonging screen time on mobile devices."

Another finding of the study was that brands of mobile phones used correlate strongly to the typical income earned in each of the nations measured.

Across the region, Nokia, Apple, Blackberry and Samsung are the main mobile handset players.

Data sourced from Effective Measure; additional content by Warc staff