Mobile technology dominates in Iraq due to the civil instability
The telecoms infrastructure in Iraq is representative of an embattled country that has seen decades of conflict - from civil war; to regional wars with Iran; deployment of US and coalition troops and strict UN sanctions. At times there have been attempts to rebuild the telecoms infrastructure but with the unrest in Iraq intensifying again – overall it is the fixed networks which have suffered as a result of all the upheaval.
In contrast mobile technology has thrived and nearly all citizens have cellular devices – although ownership of smart phones is low. Iraq is still reliant on 2G technology which has led to a stagnated growth in mobile data services. However with the mobile operators gaining approval in 2014 to begin offering 3G services in Iraq – this is one bright spot for future progress in this war-ravaged country.
In addition, the three major mobile operators all expanded their network coverage and product and service offerings in 2013. Mobile data services are becoming increasingly important as a source of new revenue as growth opportunities from new subscriber additions disappear in the maturing mobile voice market.
As with many parts of the Middle East, the Internet is tightly controlled and Iraq is no exception with the government trying to control or block Internet access in some areas in order to stop social media services being used to rally public support. With Internet penetration estimated at only around 11% in 2014; this is one sector earmarked for large growth potential in the future when the country stabilises.
While attempts have been made to deploy fibre optic infrastructure across Iraq; its penetration is still very low and expensive. This may create opportunities for satellite broadband providers.
While the potential of Iraq as a key growth area for telecommunications is well recognised – unlocking this potential is mostly on hold at the moment while the continuing civil unrest remains unresolved.
Key telecom parameters – 2012; 2014
|Subscribers to telecoms services (million):|
Companies covered in this report include:
Iraqi Telephone and Postal Company (ITPC), Itisaluna, Kalimat Telecom, Iraqtel, VitalTel, Hi Link Telecom, Omnnea, Newroz Telecom, Asiacell, Zain Iraq, Korek Telecom, Regional Telecom.
This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Iraq’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:
- Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
- Facts, figures and statistics;
- Industry and regulatory issues;
- Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
- Mobile voice and data markets;
- Digital economy and digital media;
- Mobile subscriber forecasts 2018; 2023.