Mobile subscriptions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reached around 53.1 million at the end of Q3 2012, a penetration rate of 181.2%.
Prepaid subscriptions constitute the majority (over 85%) of all mobile subscriptions. As can be observed in the chart below, the implementation of the CITC decision on regulating the sale and activation of prepaid SIM cards has resulted in a decrease of the number of subscriptions starting from the third quarter, as service providers have deactivated a large number of unidentified SIM cards, thus affecting the total number of subscriptions and the penetration rate.
Fixed telephone lines stood at 4.74 million at the end of Q3 2012, of which around 3.4 million or 71% were residential lines.
This represents a household teledensity of around 68.5%. It is clear from the chart below that the rate of demand for fixed line service has been relatively stable since 2004. The main reason is the rapid spread of mobile telecom services, ease of subscription, and the gradual decrease in prices; which has led to a lower number of requests from consumers for fixed services. However, the demand for fixed services, especially in major cities, is expected to grow as a result of growing demand for broadband services, especially for the fiber optic network (FTTx) services.