Perspective: 2011 is critical year for Middle East regional telecom operators
Source: Frost & Sullivan , Author: Lindsey McDonald
Posted: Thu January 6, 2011 10:10 pm

INTERNATIONAL. The last three weeks have brought the news that Etisalat's deal to acquire 46% of Zain is now cleared and that Qtel has purchased a 50% share in Tunisiana for US$1.2 billion.

Frost & Sullivan believes that 2011 will be a critical year for the Middle East's regional operators to extend and consolidate their position in the global telecoms market.

Etisalat's presence in more than 14 countries is to be extended with its acquisition of Zain and the Qtel Group is now a major force in a number of markets in the region and beyond.

 It is expected that operators such as Batelco are likely to push for expansion as well at a time when the opportunity to do so through the issuing of new licenses becomes increasingly rare.

 Markets such as Syria, Iraq and to some extent Libya offer compelling opportunities to operators, albeit within a high-risk environment.

Success in the year to come will depend not only upon readily available cash flow with which to make acquisitions and finance operations, but will also revolve around the operators' ability to differentiate through service variety and quality as well as to ensure that OPEX levels are minimized.

Note. Perspective by Lindsey McDonald, Consultant, Information & Communication Technologies Practice, MENA, Frost & Sullivan.

 

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS COMMENT & ANALYSIS

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SAUDI ARABIA. The manager/directors of any company that is incorporated in Saudi Arabia should start to consider what changes may need to be made to the company's articles of association or bylaws.
UAE. There are more negative than positive factors likely to impact oil prices in the short term. With current oil net-long speculative positions at an elevated level, a slight change in traders' outlook would lead to a significant selloff.
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