2009 Middle Eastern Fixed Voice and Telecommunications Infrastructure Market

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the regulatory background and fixed-line markets in the Middle East. Subjects covered include:

·         Fixed line statistics and trends;

·         National telecom networks and infrastructure;

·         International submarine cables;

·         Infrastructure developments;

·         Brief overviews of all major Middle Eastern fixed-line telecom operators.

 

Researchers: Tine Lewis, Peter Lange

Current publication date:- November 2009 (8th Edition)

Next publication date:- November 2010

Executive Summary

This Middle East market report gives an overview of the fixed-line voice and infrastructure segment of the telecoms markets of the region. It details the major operators and infrastructure in each of the following countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, UAE and Yemen.

 

In the Middle Eastern region telecommunications infrastructure varies from very advanced to very rudimentary. Several Fibre-to-the-Home projects are under development in Israel and the Gulf countries but in Yemen and Iraq fixed-line penetration is only around 5%. The area is well served with international links via submarine cables.

 

At first glance fixed-line teledensity in the Arab Middle East would appear very low, even in the wealthier countries, compared with teledensity rates of around 60% in the USA for example. However, figures can be misleading due to the larger household sizes compared with Europe or the USA, plus large hostel-accommodated expatriate populations in some countries. In fact in many countries household penetration is at or near 100%. Several markets are showing decline due to mobile substitution, particularly dramatically in Jordan with its very competitive mobile market.

 

Other than in Israel, each country has a national fixed-line operator but no other large players in the fixed-line sector. Even in the more liberalised markets of the Arab Middle East there are as yet no serious competitors to the incumbents but this is beginning to change, first in Bahrain through VoIP and calling-card operators and later WiMAX operators, and now also in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan. All fixed-line incumbents also offer mobile services.

 

Top five Middle East countries for fixed-line teledensity – 2008

Country

GDP per capita

Population

Number of Households

Fixed lines

Fixed line growth

2007/08

Teledensity

(US$)

(millions)

Israel

28,365

7.11

2.1

2.9

-3%

41%

Iran

4,732

72.9

13.0

24.8

+4%

34%

UAE

55,607

4.8

0.7

1.5

+9%

32%

Bahrain

27,248

0.78

0.12

0.22

+8%

27%

Turkey

10,472

69.7

16.0

17.5

-4%

25%

(Source: BuddeComm based on IMF, ITU and industry data)

 

 

Key highlights:

 

Bahrain

All sectors of the Bahraini communications market have been liberalised. Incumbent Batelco shares the fixed-line market with thirteen other operators providing international calling services using international direct dial, carrier pre-selection or prepaid calling cards. Around 50% of international call minutes originating from fixed lines use prepaid calling cards. Like other GCC countries, Bahrain has a large expat population (approximately 50% of the total) and this has been the cause of the impact of prepaid VoIP-based calling cards on the market and on Batelco’s international call revenues.

 

Infrastructure is excellent – Batelco completed the rollout of an NGN in January 2009.

 

Israel

While incumbent Bezeq still has a big majority of the domestic fixed-line market, its share has fallen rapidly since the introduction of number portability in December 2007 and by mid-2009 was down to 75%. VoIP operators and cable company HOT are the beneficiaries.

 

The international fixed-line market has been very competitive for many years. Three operators dominate the market with roughly equal shares. All are keen to move into providing domestic call services and the three already share the majority of the ISP market.

 

This market is particularly interesting as these players, together with the three mobile operators who are also moving into the fixed-line voice and Internet market, jostle for position. Significant investment is being made in NGN infrastructure.

 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian fixed-line teledensity (and broadband penetration) are low. Competition has been introduced into the fixed-line market with hope that it will lead to similar extensive development as has happened in the mobile market with increased competition. Three companies were awarded licences - Batelco/Atheeb, US consortia MCI International/Verizon and Hong Kong-based PCCW. Data communication provision licences were also awarded to two companies - ITC and Bayanat Al Oula. Bayanat has since been acquired by mobile operator Mobily, a subsidiary of UAE incumbent Etisalat, which could result in a serious competitor for STC.

 

All licence winners, together with incumbent STC, are making substantial investments in infrastructure and intend to make extensive use of WiMAX.

 

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Telecommunications Overview
    • 1.1 Regulatory environment
      • 1.1.1 Background
      • 1.1.2 Regulatory authorities
      • 1.1.3 Privatisation
      • 1.1.4 Telecom sector liberalisation
      • 1.1.5 Regulatory aspects of VoIP
    • 1.2 Fixed network operators
      • 1.2.1 Overview
    • 1.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 1.3.1 Overview
      • 1.3.2 NGNs
      • 1.3.3 Submarine cable systems
      • 1.3.4 Satellites
  • 2. Bahrain
    • 2.1 Overview of Bahrain’s telecom market
    • 2.2 Fixed network operators in Bahrain
      • 2.2.1 Bahrain telecommunications company (Batelco)
      • 2.2.2 Alternative operators
    • 2.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.3.1 National telecom network
      • 2.3.2 International infrastructure
    • 2.4 Wholesaling
      • 2.4.1 Overview
  • 3. Egypt
    • 3.1 Overview of Egypt’s telecom market
    • 3.2 Fixed Network Operators in Egypt
      • 3.2.1 Telecom Egypt (TE)
      • 3.2.2 Orascom Telecom
      • 3.2.3 Fixed voice market
    • 3.3 Telecommunications Infrastructure
      • 3.3.1 National telecom network
      • 3.3.2 International infrastructure
    • 3.4 Forecasts – fixed-line services – 2010; 2015
  • 4. Iran
    • 4.1 Overview of Iran’s telecom market
    • 4.2 Fixed network operators in Iran
      • 4.2.1 Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI)
      • 4.2.2 Other licence holders / Zoha Kish
    • 4.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 4.3.1 National telecom network
      • 4.3.2 International infrastructure
  • 5. Iraq
    • 5.1 Overview of Iraq’s telecom market
    • 5.2 Fixed network operators in Iraq
      • 5.2.1 Iraqi Telephone and Postal Company (ITPC)
      • 5.2.2 Wireless Local Loop operators
    • 5.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 5.3.1 National telephone network
      • 5.3.2 International infrastructure
  • 6. Israel
    • 6.1 Overview of Israel’s telecom market
    • 6.2 Market analysis – 2009
    • 6.3 Fixed Network Operators in Israel
      • 6.3.1 Overview of operators
      • 6.3.2 Bezeq
      • 6.3.3 Bezeq International
      • 6.3.4 HOT Cable Systems Media
      • 6.3.5 NetVision 013 Barak
      • 6.3.6 012 Smile.Communications (Internet Gold Golden Lines) / Eurocom
      • 6.3.7 Xfone 018
    • 6.4 Telecommunications Infrastructure
      • 6.4.1 National telecom network
      • 6.4.2 International infrastructure
      • 6.4.3 Infrastructure developments
    • 6.5 Wholesaling
      • 6.5.1 Overview
  • 7. Jordan
    • 7.1 Overview of Jordan’s telecom market
    • 7.2 Fixed network operators in Jordan
      • 7.2.1 Jordan Telecom Group / JTG / Orange Jordan
    • 7.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 7.3.1 National telecom network
      • 7.3.2 International infrastructure
    • 7.4 Wholesaling
      • 7.4.1 Access
      • 7.4.2 JTG’s pricing structure
      • 7.4.3 Friction between JTG and other ISPs
  • 8. Kuwait
    • 8.1 Overview of Kuwait’s telecom market
    • 8.2 Telecom operators in Kuwait
      • 8.2.1 Ministry of Communications
      • 8.2.2 Hits Telecom
    • 8.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 8.3.1 National telecom network
      • 8.3.2 International infrastructure
  • 9. Lebanon
    • 9.1 Overview of Lebanon’s telecom market
      • 9.1.1 InvestCom
      • 9.1.2 Saudi Oger / Oger Telecom
    • 9.2 Fixed network operator in Lebanon
      • 9.2.1 Ogero Telecom
    • 9.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 9.3.1 National telecom network
      • 9.3.2 International infrastructure
  • 10. Oman
    • 10.1 Overview of Oman’s telecom market
    • 10.2 Fixed network operator in Oman
      • 10.2.1 Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel)
    • 10.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 10.3.1 National telecom network
      • 10.3.2 International infrastructure
    • 10.4 Fixed Line services
      • 10.4.1 Prepaid and postpaid fixed-line services
  • 11. Qatar
    • 11.1 Overview of Qatar’s telecom market
    • 11.2 Fixed network operator in Qatar
      • 11.2.1 Qtel
    • 11.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 11.3.1 National telecom network
      • 11.3.2 International infrastructure
  • 12. Saudi Arabia
    • 12.1 Overview of Saudi Arabia’s telecom market
    • 12.2 Fixed network operators in Saudi Arabia
      • 12.2.1 Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
      • 12.2.2 ITC
      • 12.2.3 Bayanat Al-Oula / Mobily
      • 12.2.4 Etihad Atheeb Telecommunications Company
    • 12.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 12.3.1 National telecom network
      • 12.3.2 International infrastructure
  • 13. Syria
    • 13.1 Overview of Syria’s telecom market
    • 13.2 Fixed network operator in Syria
      • 13.2.1 Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE)
    • 13.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 13.3.1 National telecom network
      • 13.3.2 International infrastructure
  • 14. Turkey
    • 14.1 Overview of Turkey’s telecom market
    • 14.2 Fixed Network Operators in Turkey
      • 14.2.1 Overview
      • 14.2.2 Turk Telekom
      • 14.2.3 Turksat
    • 14.3 Telecommunications Infrastructure
      • 14.3.1 National telecom network
      • 14.3.2 International infrastructure
  • 15. United Arab Emirates
    • 15.1 Overview of UAE’s telecom market
    • 15.2 Market analysis – 2009
    • 15.3 Telecom Operators in UAE
      • 15.3.1 Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat)
      • 15.3.2 Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company / du
      • 15.3.3 TECOM Investments / Dubai Holding / Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT)
      • 15.3.4 UAE investment companies owning telcos outside the UAE
    • 15.4 Telecommunications Infrastructure
      • 15.4.1 National telecom networks
      • 15.4.2 Infrastructure developments
      • 15.4.3 International infrastructure
  • 16. Yemen
    • 16.1 Overview of Yemen’s telecom market
    • 16.2 Fixed network operators in Yemen
      • 16.2.1 TeleYemen / Yemen International Telecommunication Company
      • 16.2.2 Public Telecommunications Corporation (PTC)
    • 16.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 16.3.1 National telecom network
      • 16.3.2 International infrastructure
  • 17. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – GDP, households, fixed lines in service and teledensity in the Middle East – 2008
  • Table 2 – Batelco revenue and profit – Bahrain and other MENA - 2005 - 2008
  • Table 3 – Batelco revenue by division - 2005 - 2007
  • Table 4 – Batelco total group mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2008
  • Table 5 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Bahrain - 1995 - 2008
  • Table 6 – Telephone network statistics in Egypt – 2008
  • Table 7 – Telecom Egypt key performance indicators – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Egypt – 1995 - 2008
  • Table 9 – Public payphones per operator in Egypt – 2002 - 2008
  • Table 10 – Forecast fixed-line and fixed-wireless subscribers – 2010; 2015
  • Table 11 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Iran – 1995 - 2008
  • Table 12 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Iraq - 1990 - 2008
  • Table 13 – International call operators market shares in Israel – 2008
  • Table 14 – Bezeq divisional revenues – 2005 - 2009
  • Table 15 – Active Bezeq fixed-line subscriber lines, MOU, and monthly ARPL – 2003 - 2009
  • Table 16 – Bezeq International outgoing calls market share – 2005 - 2008
  • Table 17 – HOT divisional revenue – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 18 – HOT domestic telephony subscribers – 2005 - 2008
  • Table 19 – NetVision 013 Barak revenue and profit – 2006 - 2008
  • Table 20 – 012 Smile Communications revenue and profit – 2005 - 2009
  • Table 21 – Xfone revenue and profit – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 22 – Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Israel – 1995 - 2008
  • Table 23 – Jordan Telecom Group profit and revenue by sector – 2004 - 2008
  • Table 24 – Jordan Telecom Group divisional subscribers – 2005 - 2008
  • Table 25 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Jordan – 1995 - 2008
  • Table 26 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Kuwait - 1995 - 2008
  • Table 27 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Lebanon - 1996 - 2008
  • Table 28 – Telephone network statistics in Oman – May 2009
  • Table 29 – Omantel fixed-line ARPU – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 30 – Omantel financial data – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 31 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Oman - 1995 - 2009
  • Table 32 – Postpaid and prepaid fixed-line subscribers in Oman – 2005 - 2009
  • Table 33 – Qtel group mobile and fixed-line revenue and net profit – 2005 - 2008
  • Table 34 – Qtel Qatar mobile and fixed-line revenue and net profit – 2005 - 2008
  • Table 35 – Qtel Qatar fixed-line subscribers and ARPU – 2007 - 2009
  • Table 36 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Qatar - 1995 - 2009
  • Table 37 – Mobile, fixed-line and total telecommunications services revenue in Saudi Arabia – 2001 - 2007
  • Table 38 – STC Group revenue and profit – 2005 - 2008
  • Table 39 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Saudi Arabia - 1994 - 2008
  • Table 40 – STE Revenue by sector – 2005 - 2007
  • Table 41 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Syria – 1995 - 2008
  • Table 42 – Turk Telekom revenue, profit and EBITDA – 2007 - 2008
  • Table 43 – Turk Telekom fixed-line revenue, EBITDA and PSTN ARPU – 2007 - 2008
  • Table 44 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Turkey – 1995 - 2008
  • Table 45 – Etisalat group revenues and divisional representation - 2005 - 2009
  • Table 46 – du revenue and profit / loss – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 47 – Fixed lines in service, teledensity and subscribers by operator in the United Arab Emirates - 1995 - 2009
  • Table 48 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Yemen – 1995 - 2008
  • Exhibit 1 – Middle East regulatory authorities – September 2009
  • Exhibit 2 – Major fixed-line operators in the Middle East – September 2009
  • Exhibit 3 – Major submarine cable networks in the Arab Middle East – September 2009
  • Exhibit 4 – National and regional fibre networks in Egypt

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Number of pages 114

Status Archived

Last updated 17 Nov 2009
Update History

Analyst: Tine Lewis

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