The total number of mobile broadband subscriptions continue to increase, and reached around 20 million at the end of Q1 2014, representing a population penetration rate of 66%.
The mobile broadband market also continues to gain momentum in the Kingdom. The key reasons for this growth include strong competition, the healthy expansion in the use of smart phones, and the offering of various data packages by mobile operators suitable for different user segments. These have led to a dramatic rise in the number of users in recent years, and an increase in the data traffic over these devices, supported by the wide coverage of the 3G and 4G networks.
Fixed broadband subscriptions including DSL, fixed wireless (WiMax), FTTx and other fixed lines have grown to around 3.12 million subscriptions at the end of Q1 2014. The Fixed broadband penetration rate stands at about 46.3% of households.
Recently, demand for broadband services has increased significantly compared to previous years, due to the society's need for broadband services, especially after the government strong support for high tech projects which require good digital infrastructure. In addition, many government services are being accessed through e-government transactions.
The widespread use of Internet in society is another factor that led to this growth, where the Internet has become a major source of hundreds of thousands of applications that are downloaded to smart devices such as social networking, business applications, text messaging, security tools, games and more. This has driven service providers to provide many broadband packages targeting different user segments.