LTE has been launched by 201 operators in 66 countries in the Middle East and Africa (including fully mobile networks and FWA broadband networks using LTE).
LTE services have been launched in a number of countries in the past year including Guinea, Mozambique, Niger, Syria, Togo, and Yemen (FWA only).
Some most of the world’s few remaining LTE ‘not-spots’ can be found in the Middle East and Africa. Not-spots include: British Indian Ocean Territory, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, French Southern Territory, Mauritania, Palestine, Sao Tome and Principe, South Sudan, and Western Sahara.
LTE-Advanced networks have been launched in 34 countries within the Middle East and Africa, by 66 operators (nearly a third of all LTE network operators in the region).
A further seven operators are testing/trialling, planning or are deploying LTE-Advanced networks.
The commercially available LTE-Advanced services in the Middle East and Africa include some of the fastest in the world. Turkcell’s LTE-Advanced network can now support Cat-18 devices with peak download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps. Ooredoo Qatar’s network supports speeds of 1 Gbps (Cat-16).
However the majority of the region’s LTE Advanced networks are much slower, supporting a maximum of Cat-4 (45.3% of all the region’s LTE-Advanced networks); Cat-6 (39.1%), and Cat-9 (6.3%).
Commercial VoLTE services have been launched by 33 operators in 22 countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Operators that have launched VoLTE in the last twelve months include Alfa (Lebanon), Etisalat Misr (Egypt), MTN (South Africa), Safaricom (Kenya), Syriatel (Syria) and Viva (Kuwait).
A further eight operators in the region are known to be investing in VoLTE.
The 3GPP IoT status in the Middle East and Africa is unchanged from mid-2018. Sixteen operators in 10 countries in the Middle East and Africa are known to be investing in NB-IoT, and three operators in three countries are investing in LTE-M networks.
Six operators are known to have launched NB-IoT: Etisalat, UAE; Ooredoo, Tunisia; Partner, Israel; Turkcell, Turkey; Vodacom, South Africa; and Vodafone, Turkey.
Two operators are known to have launched LTE-M: Etisalat, UAE; and Turkcell, Turkey. MTN in South Africa is trialling the technology.