Mobile technology and smartphones in MENAThe governments of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are prioritizing digital expenditure on technology such as 5G to become a more knowledge-based economy. Smartphones are driving the shift to a digital lifestyle, fueled by regional user initiatives such as digital payment. The continual development of 5G technologies, as well as the increased use of mobile internet, are anticipated to drive substantial demand for advanced smartphones. The number of smartphone subscriptions in MENA was expected to exceed three-quarter billion by 2028.
According to forecasts, the number of subscribers for 5G services in MENA is expected to reach 270 million by 2028. While 4G is MENA’s current leading mobile technology, 5G technology was estimated to make up 17 percent of all connections in the region by 2025. Take-up has more than doubled over the past years, driven by network expansion and efforts by mobile operators to transition users from legacy networks. However, the adaption is not homogenous for the entire region. While other states in the region are at a nascent stage in the switch to 5G, the economic development of the GCC sub-region is a main factor for their rapid technological adaption. The number of 5G mobile subscriptions in GCC countries are expected to multiply over the following years.