In February 2014 at the Barcelona Mobile World Congress, Zain Group
announced the publication of its latest study titled, “The Socio-Economic
Impact of Mobile Telecommunication in the MENA Region” that was developed
in collaboration with PwC Middle East.
Coinciding with the celebration of Zain Group’s 30th anniversary of operation, the study illustrates
that by tapping the potential of emerging mobile solutions in areas such as
commerce, education and health, the mobile telecom sector can truly become a
catalyst for growth and prosperity in the MENA region.
The detailed study covers relevant topics including the key
development challenges in Zain’s markets, and emerging business models in
developing markets; through to the solutions that Zain has put in place to
overcome market and industry challenges, and demographic shifts, affordability
and accessibility to healthcare through mobile solutions.
A few of the findings of the study include:
- Mobile communications have achieved in 2 decades what fixed line
communications took 120 years to realize in contributing to economic
- Nations are increasingly dependent on modern communication
networks for effective participation in an increasingly global economy
- Strong telecommunication networks attract more foreign direct
- How availability of reliable mobile coverage and solutions in
several countries can provide women with better social and economic services and
boost employment in this gender
- Privatization of incumbent state operators and shifting government
responsibility from ownership and management, to policy and regulation leads to
improved overall network performance
The Socio-Economic Impact of Mobile Telephony in
In March 2010, Zain, in association with the global telecom equipment
supplier Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), commissioned and published a groundbreaking
report highlighting the social and economic impact of mobile communications in
Sudan titled ‘Socio-Economic Impact of Mobile Communications in
The report that was built on two years of research, covers four basic areas:
Khartoum, Juba, Darfur, and in the North.
The study is comprised of three separate sub reports, covering many
dimensions of social and economic development:
- ‘The Nile Connection’ which examined the social and anthropological
factors around how people have traditionally, and today, communicate in Sudan
(de Bruijn and Brinkman)
- ‘Economic Impact of Mobile Communications in Sudan’ – a financial
analysis of the economic factors, considering both supply and demand side
effects (Deloitte LLP, Business Advisory Firm)
- ‘Sudan: Mobile Communication a driver for growth?’ A survey that
assessed the needs of mobile customers in Sudan, with more than 1000 survey
respondents from the four different areas (Majanen and Kruse)
“The report underscores the central fact that mobile telephony offers a
remarkable, indeed unique, tool for economic development, and can even reach the
poorest of the poor through creative approaches by the providers and users,”
said Jeffrey D. Sachs, the Director of the Earth Institute, and Special
Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The Socio-Economic Impact of Mobile Phones in the Arab
In February 2006, Zain (then MTC) published a 140-page report titled
‘Mobility for One Language, Diverse Cultures’, a first-of-its-kind
detailed study and survey of the mobile industry in the Arab World.
The report was launched at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona in February
2006. It includes groundbreaking research on the impact of mobile phones
conducted by independent research firm Zawya.
The report is divided into five major segments, including an overview of the
region’s mobile sector, economic and social impacts of mobile phones, the impact
of the mobile phone in Iraq and a thorough MENA survey carried out in rural
areas of six different countries; Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi
Arabia, Tunisia, by Nicosia based ACNielsen.
The major findings of the report is that the mobile phone industry in the
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is creating hundreds of thousands of
new jobs inside and outside the industry, boosting economic growth and fostering
social harmony and security.
Mobility: A Nation Under Siege - An insight into mobile
communications during the 2006 Lebanon conflict
In July 2006, Zain (then MTC) published‘Mobility: A
Nation Under Siege’, a report that analyzed the vital role played by mobile
telecommunications in assisting disaster recovery within Lebanon during the
Israeli-Lebanese conflict in July 2006.
The report contains unique insights into the reliability of telecoms
infrastructure throughout the conflict and examines the reasons why mobile
communications played a pivotal role in ensuring that families stayed in touch,
the population received food and medical supplies to the correct locations, and
emergency services could effectively plan their disaster response
The report sets a benchmark by providing models in global crisis planning –
most notably in less developed regions such as in Africa and Asia - and it
establishes the role that mobile telecommunications can play in the marshaling
of emergency resources and the coordination of rescue efforts. One practical
example showcases how the use of SMS technology allowed embassies to evacuate
their nationals in a fast and effective manner.