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The Impact of Regulation, Socio-economics & Technology on the Arab Internet Market Michael Minges International Telecommunication Union The views expressed.

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Presentation on theme: "The Impact of Regulation, Socio-economics & Technology on the Arab Internet Market Michael Minges International Telecommunication Union The views expressed."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Impact of Regulation, Socio-economics & Technology on the Arab Internet Market Michael Minges International Telecommunication Union The views expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of the ITU or its Members.

2 Internet in the Arab World Source: ITU adapted from DITnet.

3 Wealth & Internet Source: ITU adapted from DITnet and World Bank data. Tunisia Oman Bahrain Qatar Morocco Egypt Jordan Saudi Arabia Lebanon Algeria UAE R 2 = % 0.01% 0.10% 1.00% 10.00% $0$5'000$10'000$15'000$20'000 GNP per capita, US$ Internet users, % of population

4 Internet absorbtion hard factors Rather have a cellphone Source: ITU, DITnet (Internet subscribers).

5 Internet absorbtion soft factors Source: UNDP.

6 Regulatory issues Depends on viewpoint Government Content Internet telephony Market structure User with access Speed Pricing Quality Privacy Security Services Support Content User without access Access ISP Pricing Service from incumbent phone company Peering

7 Internet pricing Ten hours of dial-up Internet usage per month, US$ Number of ISPs Source: ITU adapted from ISP and PTO data. Telephone call charge Internet monthly charge Internet call charge Internet penetration0.14%3.13%0.32%8.50% Price/GDP per capita13%6%7%1%

8 UAE Internet UAE has more than half of the Internet host computers in region Etisalat largest ISP in region Emirates Internet Exchange Dubai Internet City

9 Internet Telephony What is Internet Telephony? –VoIP or –Extra revenue for telephone company VoIP already happening despite legal ban Price per minute, telephone traffic US$, February 2000 Source: ITU adapted from Arbinet, FCC.

10 Internet Telephony Another perspective Internet can be beneficial to telephone companies Extra local traffic, 2nd lines, ISDN, leased lines Source: Hongkong Telecom.

11 Content Overblown issue Has serious implications for Internet diffusion Local content development

12 Universal access Internet friendly tariffs Public access points Household telephone penetration Source: ITU.

13 Tunisian Publinet PubLIC INTERnet Started in October % of investment cost met by government; rest from low interest loans Source: ATI (www.ati.tn)www.ati.tn

14 If we only had WebTV Other ways of accessing Internet Much higher penetration of TV than telephone or computers Household TV penetration Source: ITU adapted from national data and European Audiovisual Observatory.

15 Conclusions Allow ISPs to offer own international gateways and leased lines and even access lines if telephone companies are uncooperative Develop local content, particularly government services Promote Internet-friendly dial-up local telephone charges Establish public access policies Telephone companies are missing out on significant revenue source Raise awareness, increase training and education


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