Mobily's US$5.9bn Investment Targets Data Market
Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia's second biggest telecoms service provider, plans to invest SAR22bn (US$5.9bn) over the next five years in network and product development. This was disclosed in an interview by the company's CEO, Khalid al-Kaf, with Saudi newspaper Al-Eqtisadiah. BMI expects this move to enable the operator sustain its strong performance in the Saudi telecoms market amid market saturation across most services and increasing competition in the mobile sector.
Mobily has largely outperformed its rivals in most financial indices in recent years, a development we attribute to robust investments in network infrastructure development. Al-Kaf disclosed that the company had been investing SAR4-4.5bn annually in network infrastructure development since its inception in 2004. This translates to a total investment of SAR36-40.5bn in its nine years of operation. The proposed investment plan will take the company's overall spend to more than SAR55bn by 2017.
A significant proportion of Mobily's investment has gone towards building high speed data networks. In addition to the company's 3G and 4G networks, which cover 92% of the population and 45 cities respectively, according to al-Kaf, Mobily claims that its fixed broadband network covers around 450,000 residential houses and businesses across the country.
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