Fixed Broadband subscriptions, including DSL, Fixed Wireless (WiMax) and other fixed line subscriptions, grew to around 2.13 million at the end of Q3 2011. The Fixed Broadband penetration rate stood at around 30.6 % of households at the end of Q3 2011.
Mobile broadband subscriptions reached 11.5 million at the end of Q3 2011, representing a penetration of 40.5% of the population. The mobile broadband market continues to gain momentum in the Kingdom. Key reasons for this growth are increased competition and the mass market availability of smart phones, which enable customers to access a variety of data packages. At the same time, mobile networks are also being upgraded as 3.5G (HSPA) continues to be widely deployed and more advanced wireless broadband technologies (4G) emerge.
It should be noted that in calculating the number of subscriptions, CITC has adopted the new recommendation put forward by the ITU in early 2011. The new ITU methodology provides for including in the calculation of broadband subscriptions voice SIMs with capability for data communications at broadband speeds as well as subscriptions to dedicated data SIMs. As a result, CITC’s calculations of broadband subscriptions and penetration for Q3 2011 are substantially higher relative to those reported in previous months.