The total number of mobile broadband subscriptions reached 11.73 million at the end of Q3 2012, representing a population penetration rate of 40%.
The mobile broadband market continues to gain momentum in the Kingdom. The key reasons for this growth are the strong competition, the healthy expansion of smart phones, and the offering of various data packages by mobile operators.
It has become easier to access the Internet via mobile devices such as smart phones. The mobile networks are also improving, as the 3.5G (HSPA) technology continues to be deployed and as 4G wireless broadband technologies emerge over the next few years.
2.25 million fixed broadband subscriptions
Fixed broadband subscriptions including DSL, fixed wireless (WiMAX), FTTx and other fixed lines have grown to around 2.25 million subscriptions at the end of Q3 2012. The fixed broadband penetration rate was about 36.5% of households.
Recently, demand for broadband services has increased significantly compared to previous years due to society's need for broadband services, especially after the Government’s strong support of high tech projects which require a good digital infrastructure. In addition, many government services are now being provided through e-government transactions.
The widespread use of the Internet in the society is another factor that has led to this growth. The Internet has become a major source of hundreds of thousands of applications that are downloaded to smart devices, including social networking, business applications, word processors, chat programs, security tools, games and more. Service providers are currently providing broadband services through both fixed and mobile networks.