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Egypt's unique mobile subscribers number 44 million

North African country leads the Arab world's telecoms market thanks to its large population.

Egypt has the Arab world's most unique mobile phone subscribers, making up 23% of this region's total market size.

This is according to a GSMA report titled "Arab States: Mobile Economy 2014" which has revealed that Egypt is the largest market in the region with 44 million unique mobile subscribers at the end of 2013.

A unique mobile subscriber is defined as a person who has subscribed to one or more networks.

And in comparison to Egypt, Algeria and Morocco respectively have 19 million and 16.9 million unique mobile subscribers.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Iraq respectively have 21.6 million and 20.5 million unique mobile subscribers, according to the GSMA.

Overall, the GSMA report studies 19 countries in the Gulf and North Africa where there are 195 million unique mobile subscribers .

Between 2008 and 2013 total unique mobile subscribers in the region also grew 9.5% per year, compared to global average growth of 8.2%.

"As regional operators continue to invest in mobile broadband networks and services, we call on governments in the region to collaborate with the mobile industry to deliver on a range of goals, from rolling out networks to under-served areas in North Africa to ensuring that the right infrastructure is in place to support global business hubs such as Dubai," said Anne Bouverot, director general for the GSMA.

Dubai-based telecoms and media analyst for Ovum, Matthew Reed. has told ITWeb Africa that Egypt's large population size is a key reason for its large mobile market.

Egypt is the third largest African nation with more than 80 million people.

"The Egyptian mobile market is highly competitive, with three major international mobile operating groups active in the country: Etisalat, Orange and Vodafone," said Reed.

"And it is about to become even more competitive, as fixed-line incumbent Telecom Egypt is to move into the mobile sector following a change to the licensing framework," said Reed.

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