The six Gulf States in the Middle East are all mature mobile markets, with mobile penetration rates ranging from 150 per cent up to 215 per cent.
Each of the markets is seeing growth in Smartphone penetration, which accounts for up to 75 per cent of Post Pay mobile users (as in Saudi Arabia).
But the majority of Middle Eastern subscribers are Pre Pay accounting for up to almost 90 per cent of mobile users (89 per cent in Oman, 76 per cent in the UAE).
The trend is for blended ARPU levels to decline gradually over time. (Chart to the left shows Blended ARPU in USD)
For example, Etisalat (UAE) has seen a decline of under 4% in blended ARPU year on year (from $35.1 to $33.8 USD) from Q3-12 to Q3-13.
With 2 or 3 MNOs present in all markets and little MVNO activity there is relative price stability.
A copy of the SnapShot (Issue Number 28) covering Pricing in the Middle East can be purchased for GBP 95, or alternatively, a subscription to the 2014 SnapShot service including 20 issues is available for GBP 795.00.