Middle East is the most expensive region for double and triple-play fixed broadband services.

Middle East is the most expensive region for double and triple-play fixed broadband services.

Our 2012 Q4 analysis of broadband tariffs shows that Middle Eastern telecom operators command the highest fixed broadband tariffs in the world. End-users in this region are paying on average €103 and €125 per month for double and triple play packages, a staggering 2.5 times above the world average

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Middle East market dynamics are unique

High residential broadband tariffs are the consequences of general and specific regional factors. The majority of state-owned telecom companies in the region still enjoy monopolistic market positions and the local telecom regulators have limited or limited power or influence over broadband tariffs.

Specific regional factors driving high prices related to several factors. For instance, in poor countries in the region dial up is still the dominant fixed access technology and broadband prices are relatively high for average families. Another factor is the low CRM quality offered by the majority of operators which hinders consumer adoption of broadband. Furthermore, social and political factors particular to the region can inhibit broadband deployment and market development.

UAE is an interesting case in point

Etisalat (incumbent operator) prices for stand-alone falls on medium price basket but double and triple play tariffs prise sure drastically (See chart above). The triple play package “Gold 300MB” costs AED 2,999 (€644) per month where the very similar package in Asia Pacific, offered by Singtel  costs €58.64, while in  Europe Lattelecom in Latvia, KPN in the Netherlands, Zon Media  and Vodafone in Portugal  prices varies  from€ 56.9 to €113.81.

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Source: Company website. http://www.etisalat.ae/eportal/en/personal/elife-triple-packages.html (25.03.2013)

As mentioned above, Middle East market dynamics are indeed unique.  Stand-alone broadband in the region exhibits a different pattern to double and triple play offerings and are the second cheapest in the world after Europe.  Single play broadband prices average €33.35 /per month vs. €34.69 for the world average.

Q4 2012 tariff monitoring service is based on an extensive research by harvesting over 3500 tariff packages of some 299 operators across 102 countries.