Mobile technologies and services add US$191bn to MENA’s economy

26580100556 6c3354a269 cMobile technologies and services have added US$191bn to the Middle East and North Africa’s economy in 2018 – equivalent to about 4.5 per cent of regional GDP

This was revealed by GSMA Intelligence reports at the ‘GSMA Mobile 360 – MENA’ event in Dubai.

The two reports – ‘The Mobile Economy: Middle East and North Africa 2019’ and ‘Realising the potential of IoT in MENA’ highlighted the positive economic impact of the mobile ecosystem on markets across the MENA region, as well as the transformative impact of IoT technologies on the strategic national visions of regional governments.

By 2023, mobile’s economic contribution is forecast to reach more than US$220bn as countries increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by the increased uptake of mobile services, and 5G and IoT networks are widely deployed.

Meanwhile, IoT connections in the MENA region are growing at a rate second only to Asia-Pacific. There are forecast to be 470mn IoT connections in MENA by the end of 2019, rising to 1.1bn by 2025.

The deployment of IoT across MENA is expected to add US$18bn to regional GDP by 2025.

Mats Granryd, director-general of the GSMA, said, “Backed by proactive government support, mobile operators, particularly in the GCC Arab States, have speedily deployed 5G technology.”

“Beyond the GCC, the wider MENA region has an opportunity to benefit from the technological developments delivered by 5G and IoT. To fully embrace those benefits the region’s governments must support regulatory frameworks and policies that ensure 5G flourishes, including making sufficient spectrum available,” he concluded.

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