Monday, August 22, 2005

Region 'must end monopolies to provide better services' :: GN


A new report by Madar Research Group urges GCC and Arab markets to open up their telecommunications industry, end monopolies, and in so doing give customers the service they deserve faster, cheaper and better service. Competition, the report says, leads to lower, more aggressive pricing, better service and more targetted marketing.

Madar Research claim they have proved it by examining the effect of new entrants into closely regulated markets in the Arab world. The study focused on the market changes and growth witnessed in Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain all of which have moved away from a monopolistic structure of the local mobile sector. According to the study, the liberalisation of the mobile sector in all four countries led to a huge increase in market uptake, offering significant benefits to customer.

In 2000, the year when a second mobile carrier entered their telecommunication markets, Morocco and Jordan witnessed a 683 per cent and 250 per cent increase respectively in the number of subscribers. While Kuwait registered a subscription growth of 87 per cent in the year the second mobile carrier entered the market, Bahrain recorded a 47 per cent rise.
Countries that liberalize the mobile sector may also be foregoing the option of shutting down mobile communications in the event of a popular uprising. (We saw the power of this technology in the Orange Revolution and the Cedar Revolution.) Such a choice may signal that governments are making a democratic move, a willingness to expose themselves to the judgment of citizen opinion.

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