The Kuwait telecom industry is relatively mature and advanced, with high penetration rates and per spending capita.
Nevertheless, the country's penetration rates are lowest among the Gulf countries, indicating opportunities for further growth potential, reports Capital Standards. Penetrations rates: Fixed line 16.5%, Mobile 141% (number of subscribers reaching 3.56 million and increase of 10.7%, as compared to 3.22 mm subscribers at the end of 2008 according to Kuwait Internet and E-commerce Investment and Business Guide), Internet 41%.
The sector is dominated by 3 telecom operators; the incumbent Zain, Wataniya and VIVA (Saudi STC). Zain is still the No1 telecom with a 44% (1.81 mn) market share followed closely by Wataniya Telecom with a 40% (1.17mn) market share.
No3 telecom VIVA with only a 16% market share is still lagging behind in the industry.
Kuwait is the only country in the gulf without the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA). The regulations are carried out by the Ministry of Communication (MoC), which controls the fixed line and the international gateway for overseas calls. In the last 3 yeas the Ministry has announced plans for establishing the TRA, introducing Mobile Number Portability (MNP), privatize the fixed line operations as well as develop the country's fiber optic infrastructure.
These plans have been slow to materialize and further delay is expected putting pressure on the telecom operators.
The investment confidence into the sector was further negatively affected by cancellation of deals as Zain's largest shareholder has cancelled plans to sell its majority stake in Zain to Etisalat, attributing the failure of Etisalat to complete due diligence by the 28 February deadline.
Top Telecoms in Kuwait
Zain - Mobile Telecommunications Co.
Asa'ad Al Banwan| Chairman
Zain Group is a mobile telecommunications company founded in 1983 in Kuwait as MTC or Mobile Telecommunications Company, and was later re-branded to Zain in 2007.
Zain has commercial presence in 7 countries across Africa and the Middle East with about 37.6 million customers as of March 31, 2011. It employs 6000 people. Shareholders (KIA 24,6%, Kharafi Group 11.4%-20% (estimate))
Assets: USD 13 billion
Wataniya Telecom (National Mobile Telecom Company)
Scott Gegenheimer | CEO
Wataniya Telecom was commercially launched in 1999 as the first privately owned operator in Kuwait.
In March 2007, Qatar Telecom (Qtel) acquired 51% of Wataniya Telecom shares from Kuwait Projects Company Holding KSC (KIPCO) group.
Kuwait Telecommunication Company- VIVA
Adel Mohammad Ahmad AL-Roumi | Chairman
VIVA is the newest, most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider in the country.
Launched in December 2008, VIVA makes things "possible" for our customers by transforming communication, information and entertainment experiences. VIVA has rapidly established itself in the market through our customer and employee-centric approach.
Top IT Solutions Providers in Kuwait
ITS ( International Turnkey Systems)
International Turnkey Systems Group (ITS) is the leading provider of cutting-edge integrated information technology solutions and software services to a wide spectrum of industries and government entities across the Middle-East, Africa, the Asian region and Europe.
Subsidiary of KFH.