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Data analytics an untapped field in Jordan to understand consumer behaviour — Ericsson executive

By Mohammad Ghazal - Oct 12,2014 - Last updated at Oct 12,2014

DUBAI — Businesses and start-ups in Jordan and the Middle East can take advantage of the growth in data consumption to increase their revenues and market share, an executive at Ericsson said Sunday.

The rise in the number of mobile holders in Jordan, coupled with the growing adoption of smartphones and usage of broadband Internet, is driving a massive growth in data consumption and traffic on mobile networks, which makes available large amounts of information about consumer behaviour, Teemu Salmi, vice president and head of operations for Middle East and Africa at Ericsson, told The Jordan Times.

“Big data analytics is crucial for all businesses. It can help them grow and better address the needs of their targeted segments,” Salmi said on the sidelines of the Gitex Technology Week 2014, held in Dubai with the participation of ICT experts, CEOs and officials from across the world.

“Whether it is a telco or a restaurant, all can greatly benefit from big data analytics,” he noted, adding that companies can understand consumer behaviour and identify the services best suited to every customer. 

“The market of big data analytics remains untapped in Jordan and the rest of the Middle East, which creates a great opportunity for start-ups to start a business in this [field],” Salmi said.

In Jordan, where mobile penetration reached 146 per cent with 10.9 million subscriptions by the end of June this year, smartphone penetration is about 50 per cent, according to the Arab Advisers Group.

Of the total 1.551 million Internet subscribers in Jordan, about 1.209 million are mobile broadband subscribers, according to the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.

Salmi noted that regulations are required to safeguard consumers’ privacy and organise the collection, analysis and dissemination of big data.

“If a certain client does not want his information to be used, then this should be protected. Some people may not like receiving offers and services even if they cater to their interests,” added the Ericsson executive.

The demand for more speeds and capacities on the Internet necessitates more investments to introduce the long-term evolution (LTE) wireless technology, which supports roaming Internet access via mobile phones and enables the provision of fourth generation services, Salmi said.

4G will be provided by Zain Jordan in the Kingdom in the first quarter of 2015.

According to Ericsson Mobility Report, there will be 9.2 billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2019 globally, 80 per cent of which will be for mobile broadband by the end of 2019.

The report, obtained by The Jordan Times, said there will be 2.9 billion LTE subscriptions and 5.6 billion smartphone subscriptions in the world by the end of 2019.

Mobile data

60% growth expected in mobile subscriptions in the Middle East and Africa between 2013 and 2019

Global mobile data traffic in the first quarter of 2014 exceeded total mobile data traffic in 2011

Mobile traffic generated by mobile phones has exceeded that from PCs, tablets and routers

50% of mobile data traffic will be in videos in 2019

65% of the world’s population will be covered by long-term evolution wireless technology to support roaming Internet access in 2019

288 networks are commercially available in 104 countries

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