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Research by the GSMA has predicted how the mobile internet landscape will evolve in the Middle East and North Africa over the next 5 years.
The proportion of 3G and 4G mobile connections in the region is expected to rise from the current level of 34% to 69% by 2020.
However, despite the number of mobile broadband subscriptions set to skyrocket, the number of actual people with mobile broadband is expected to rise only slightly from its current level of 54% to 57%.
This suggests that the rise in mobile broadband subscriptions will mainly be due to affluent Arabs buying second smartphones, rather than a wider segment of society becoming more connected.
This inequality is a key theme to the GSMA report.
It highlighted that while some countries have high levels of smartphone adoption, such as the UAE and Qatar at 83%, other countries such as Iraq, Palestine, and Yemen have smartphone adoption rates of just 17%.
Palestine also fared poorly when looking 3G coverage, with the study revealing it to be the only country in the Middle East and North Africa not to have universal 3G coverage.