LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 MENA, DUBAI: GSMA director general Mats Granryd hailed the impact of mobile on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, stating the sector contributed $191 billion of economic value in 2019.
The figure represents 4.5 per cent of total GDP in the region. “Across MENA our ecosystem contributes $18 billion in tax revenue and supports 1 million jobs,” he commented.
By 2023, the mobile industry’s contributions will reach just over $220 billion as countries increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by greater take-up of mobile services.
The GSMA boss said 5G, alone, will contribute $52 billion to the MENA economy over the next 15 years, driven by new services.
Granryd also highlighted how the MENA region is characterised by two distinct levels of subscriber maturity, giving rise to two strategic opportunities.
“In the GCC nations, 80 per cent will subscribe to a mobile service and have a smartphone by 2025: that’s close to saturation,” he noted. As a result, growth will have to come from new opportunities, most of which will be in the enterprise space.
“By contrast,” he continued, “across North Africa, with subscriber numbers at 68 per cent and smartphone usage at 52 per cent, there are still growth opportunities in the consumer space and from the rollout of 4G, but only if taxation is minimised”.
Excessive government regulation is not a problem in the GCC area, at least: “In fact the World Government Summit held here in Dubai and Saudi Arabia’s National 5G Task Force are great examples of how governments from this region are creating the right environment for this industry to flourish,” Granryd stated.
Meanwhile Granryd also highlighted the GSMA’s progress on initiatives including its Connected Women project, along with efforts to ensure the operator community is on board to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, if not before.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back