RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s mobile services revenue is expected to hit $17.3 billion by 2028, driven by the increasing adoption of data services, a new report showed.
The data analytics firm GlobalData predicted that the revenue will experience a 6.3 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years, rising from $12.7 billion in 2023.
The report, titled “Saudi Arabia Mobile Broadband Forecast,” revealed a contrasting trend between mobile voice service revenue and mobile data service revenue.
Mobile voice service revenue is projected to decline at a CAGR of 3.2 percent during 2023-2028, reflecting the drop in mobile voice average revenue per user levels.
In contrast, mobile data service revenue is expected to experience growth with a CAGR of 9.6 percent, driven by the widespread adoption of 5G services.
The projected average monthly mobile data usage is expected to rise significantly, from 44.3 gigabytes in 2023 to 89.8 GB in 2028.
This surge is attributed to the increasing consumption of high-bandwidth online video services and social media content through smartphones.
The report highlights that telecom operators are actively supporting this trend through data-centric plans. For example, Zain KSA is offering an additional 150 GB of social media data for apps like YouTube and Facebook, coupled with a 150 GB prepaid mobile internet plan priced at SR458.85 ($122) for three months.
Kantipudi Pradeepthi, a telecom analyst at GlobalData, said, “5G subscriptions will surpass 4G subscriptions and go on to account for 84 percent share of the total mobile subscriptions in 2028, driven by the 5G network expansion initiatives of the telecom regulator and mobile operators.”
The analyst noted that 4G will remain the leading mobile technology by subscriptions in Saudi Arabia until 2025.
Pradeepthi added: “Saudi Telecom Company 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 5G service expansions and tapping opportunities in the machine-to-machine/Internet of Things segment, according to GlobalData’s analyst.