Several key markets are taking the first steps towards liberalization while others are witnessing the evolution of services and shifts in end-user spending from voice to data. This is according to IDC's 2004 predictions for Gulf States telecoms operators. In 2004, liberalization and services evolution within the Gulf States of the Middle East will be the two main themes. Three key markets are expected to open their doors to mobile competition in 2004. Iran and Saudi Arabia, two of the region's largest markets in terms subscription and revenue potential, are in the process of licensing one new mobile operator each. A similar and equally anticipated development is unfolding in Oman.