Industry Thought Leadership

stc Aims to LEAD the Kuwait Telco and ICT Market

April, 2023
Miguel Rodriguez
General Manager - Corporate Strategy & Planning

stc Kuwait

The Kuwaiti telecom market, known for its pioneering and highly developed 5G infrastructure market, boasts 100% coverage in populated areas, substantial data consumption exceeding 60 GB per user per month, and a developing digital ecosystem encompassing both consumer (devices, fintech, gaming, video, insurance) and enterprise ICT services (cloud, IoT, security and managed services).

Kuwait is considered the most competitive telecom market in the GCC region, featuring three global players, each contending for around 1/3 of the market, along with a new MVNO that has been operational since 2022. This highly competitive scenario results in a challenging market characterized by intensive price competition and inflationary cost pressures that influence profitability for all players.

There has been a surge in demand for telecom and digital services in Kuwait, further accelerated with the Covid-19 pandemic. This demand includes competitively priced voice and internet plans, connectivity solutions, and innovative products that focus on digitally transforming business cultures. There is a massive wave of demand primarily focused on accelerating the path towards digital transformation for most companies, providing the telecom and digital solutions sector with an opportunity to utilize their resources to meet the needs of corporate customers.

In this highly penetrated and challenging market, the digital ecosystem is gaining momentum through partnerships between the Kuwaiti Government and telco operators to collaborate with hyperscalers such as Google Cloud. The Kuwaiti Government formed its strategic alliance with Google Cloud to roll out a comprehensive digital transformation roadmap across governmental entities and key state-owned enterprises. More recently, the Kuwaiti Government partnered with Apple to launch its Apple Pay service in Kuwait, in line with the country’s strategy.

stc is focused on capturing this opportunity and leading the digital transformation in Kuwait. By completing a transformation journey that started in 2019 with the strategy AHEAD, in 2022 stc has defined a new 3 year Corporate Strategy “LEAD” with the ambition of propelling the company on its path to market leadership in Kuwait. The acquisition of e-Portal, top local player in ICT services, in 2022 has meant a major milestone on achieving this leadership position and since Q3 2022 stc is the telco leader in revenue share in Kuwait.

Throughout the past couple of years, stc successfully optimized its operations, invested in developing the largest 5G network in Kuwait and enhanced its digital customer journeys by revamping the frontend BSS system and the digital touchpoints to provide its customers with an unrivalled experience. stc was also the first operator in Kuwait to launch the full 5G (standalone 5G), offering improved customer experience in terms of download speed and latency, and enabling a broader range of use cases.

stc aims to LEAD the Kuwait telco and ICT market by offering innovative services, growing priority segments and deploying an efficient and digital operating model.

LEAD strategy is built upon 4 strategic pillars:

Lift the core by capturing growth opportunities across youth, high-value expat and SME segments. This strategy is based on a more granular end enriched customer segmentation that allows stc to better serve their customer needs and identify the buckets of growth within the core business.

Expand ICT business in scale and scope and position stc as professional services provider by capturing the potential of the Enterprise market across sectors by offering integrated communications and IT solutions. The acquisition of e-Portal has meant a major milestone and boosted stc capabilities to capture this growth opportunity.

Accelerate innovation by leveraging stc Group capabilities, non-telco partners and Kuwait startup ecosystem. Going beyond the core by relying on the stc Group new operating model, specialized subsidiaries and their capabilities, enlarging the partnership ecosystem and exploring nascent ideas will allow stc to enrich the product portfolio, excel the customer experience and differentiate from the competitors.

Deploy an efficient and digital operating model that is fit for a sustainable growth Moving forward with a nimble and digital operating model with a relentless focus on improving customer experience, delivering cost efficiency and profitability. A revamped operating model aimed at developing stc employee’s potential, attracting top talent while preserving the culture, all aligned with the best corporate sustainability practices.