ADSL still prominent for broadband in Arab world | News | Rapid TV News
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ADSL remains the prevailing broadband internet technology in the Arab world, with rates in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Morocco being the cheapest in relation to GDP per capita – according to a new report from the Arab Advisors Group.

Uptake is strong in most of the nineteen Arab countries analysed, as internet service providers (ISPs) wise up to the power of promotions such as waiving connection fees and offering rate reductions. The most common speed of service in the Middle East and North Africa is 1024Kbps, according to the report, with an average yearly bill to the consumer of US$736.4.

The report compares the rates for the speeds of 512, 1024 and 2048 Kbps, and analysed the availability of the download speeds in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.

“It is noteworthy that Morocco’s total annual cost for 1024Kbps speed is lower than Egypt’s 512 Kbps annual cost. Accordingly Morocco has the lowest ADSL rates for the common speeds this report tackled although the 512Kbps speed is not offered in Morocco,” said Alaa Numair, research analyst at Arab Advisors Group.

Although ISPs in Morocco and Tunisia offered the lowest rates for ADSL services, the analysts also built an affordability model whereby the total annual cost of ADSL in any one country was calculated as a percentage of that country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. So, the higher the ratio, the less affordable the service is in that country.

“The countries that led the ADSL affordability measure were the GCC countries,” said Zeena Al Borgan, senior research analyst, Arab Advisors Group. “Although they do not have the lowest rates, they do have the highest GDP per capita; this is one reason why operators do not reduce rates drastically as demand is guaranteed even at relatively higher rates.”