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Arab Cell Operators Players in Power Generation

Participants in a new survey of Arab cell operators reported they will deploy 590 hybrid power and renewable energy systems to power network infrastructure in 2012 and 2013.

The study by the Arab Advisors Group estimates the total value of the generator market for regional cellular operators to be $107.6 million from 2012 through 2015. Over that time, Arab Advisors values the total size of the market for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at $143.9 million. Combined, the projected market investment is more than $251 million in power generation systems by the region’s cellular operators.

With cellular coverage in the Arab nations now over 90 percent, operators are filling in coverage of remote areas and isolated communities, resulting in the need for on-site power generation systems to power base stations in off-grid areas.

The Arab Advisors Group surveyed regional cellular operators about their power generation systems between July and November 2011. Participants included operators representing networks in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. Survey respondents represent 25 percent of regional operators, representing 87 million cellular subscribers, or approximately 28 percent of Arab subscribers.

According to the Arab Advisors Group, Arab cellular operators “are devoting increasing attention to the social and environmental sustainability of their network operations, although financial considerations still dominate decision-making. The use of PV systems at off-grid sites is growing rapidly.”

The thirteen operators participating in the survey reported a total of 378 hybrid and green power systems installed as of June 30, 2011. Nearly three quarters of the systems incorporated solar power.

Rebecca Mayer, Senior Consultant at Arab Advisors Group, observes, “The Middle East is best known for its oil, but the region has a tremendous natural resource in the form of solar energy. Cellular operators in the region are waking up to this potential and are in the midst of a large scale-up of photovoltaic system deployments. Photovoltaic systems are, by far, the most widely accepted renewable energy technology by Arab cellular operators compared to small wind turbines, fuel cells, or alternative fuels.”

The Arab Advisors Group has produced nearly 2,850 reports on the Arab world’s communications and media markets. For more information, visit www.arabadvisors.com. The 47 page Power Generation Systems for Cellular Operators in the Arab World: Survey Results and Market Projections to 2015 report can be purchased for $300.

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