Broadband in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has the potential to grow nearly 25% over the next five years, a report by market research firm Informa has revealed.
New broadband users in the region grew by 66% to reach 4.8 million in 2008, while the market is poised for a further 64% growth this year.
The report also added more signs of positivity - broadband subscriptions is set to climb from over 7 million this year to 27 million in 2014 in the region.
"Perceptions about the Middle East and North Africa countries' ability to foster e-commerce are increasingly becoming outdated. Operators across the region are beginning to invest heavily in getting high-speed, high-capacity and cost effective telecoms networks into the region and the current infrastructure is much more advanced than perhaps they have been given credit for," says Mohammed Hamza, senior broadband analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media and author of the Middle East and North Africa Broadband report.
Calls for higher bandwidth are ringing out in the region because of greater demand for media and video services, though the report points out that the vast majority of residential customers use broadband for basic applications such as e-mail and browsing the web.
The largest broadband subscription bases in MENA are in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Morocco and Iran, which represent an astonishing 79% of the region's total broadband subscriptions.