5G connections in MENA by 2025
in operator revenues and investment in MENA by 2025
GDP in MENA in 2021 was generated by mobile technologies and services
Since the emergence of Covid-19, mobile networks have been instrumental in providing the reliable connectivity needed to sustain social and economic activities. The number of mobile internet users in MENA exceeded 300 million in 2021, with penetration due to reach 50% of the population by the end of 2022.
4G is MENA’s leading mobile technology, with almost 270 million connections at the end of 2021. Take up has more than doubled over the past five years, driven by network expansion and efforts by mobile operators to transition users from legacy networks.
At the regional level, 5G remains at a nascent stage. The current adoption rate of just 1% is expected to grow to 17% by 2025. However, operators in the GCC Arab states are among the global leaders in 5G, with competition and government support triggering launches of some of the world’s first and fastest next-generation mobile networks. 5G connections in this part of MENA are set to reach 41 million by 2025 (49% of total connections).
In a post-pandemic world, digital connectivity is expected to become even more vital to citizens, firms and institutions alike. Regulatory frameworks that are conducive to investment will be crucial to incentivising the deployment of telecoms infrastructure. Such infrastructure will be key to economic recovery and future crisis resilience.