2010 Middle Eastern Regulatory, Infrastructure and Fixed-line Market

Publication Overview

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.

Researcher:- Tine Lewis
Current publication date:- August 2010 (9th Edition)
Next publication date:- August 2011

Executive Summary

Competition is driving telecoms growth in the Middle East

In the Middle Eastern region telecommunications infrastructure varies from very advanced to very rudimentary. Fibre to the Home projects are well advanced 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 with more under construction.

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.

The fixed-line sector has been the last to be opened to competition and in all markets the incumbent remains the major player in the fixed-line voice market but change is underway, mostly through VoIP and calling-card operators and later WiMAX operators, but in the case of the UAE, also through sharing infrastructure.

All fixed-line incumbents also offer mobile services and in many countries operators who began in the mobile sector are also moving into the fixed-line sector.

Market Highlights

Bahrain

All sectors of the Bahraini communications market have been liberalised. Incumbent Batelco shares the fixed-line market with around fifteen 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

Whilst 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 going into 2010 was down to around 75% of the consumer segment by revenue and 85% of the business sector. 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. Bezeq commercially launched an NGN in September 2009. It had 374,000 subscribers connected to the network at end-2009 and 580,000 by early May 2010 (around 25% of Israeli households). Bezeq plans to make the NGN available to approximately 50% of Israeli households by end-2010 and 90% of households by end-2012. The network is ‘fibre to the curb’ and allows for an up to 50MB bandwidth offering.

United Arab Emirates

In July 2010 incumbent Etisalat and alternative operator du completed negotiations to open their networks, allowing each to use the other’s networks and compete across all fixed-line infrastructure in all parts of the country. A testing phase began, with a commercial launch of services expected in late 2010.

Etisalat has a very substantial FttH project, which is being completed in phases. The first batch of Abu Dhabi subscribers received last mile FttH access in January 2008. By end-2009 Etisalat claimed to have completed 60% of the network. It expected to make Abu Dhabi “the first capital city in the world with 100% fibre deployment” by 2010 and at end-2009 had completed the roll-out for 85% of Abu Dhabi households. Completion of the entire national network is expected by 2011 at a total cost of AED5 billion.

Top five Middle East countries – estimated fixed-line teledensity - 2010

 

Country

GDP per capita

Population

Number of Households

Fixed lines

Teledensity

(US$)

(millions)

Israel

26,843

7.4

2.4

3

40%

Iran

4,777

75

13

26

34%

UAE

49,995

5

0.8

1.6

31%

Bahrain

21,097

1.1

0.2

0.25

23%

Turkey

9,950

71

16

16

22%

(Source: BuddeComm based on IMF and industry data)

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. Bahrain
    • 1.1 Overview of Bahrain’s telecom market
    • 1.2 Regulatory environment
      • 1.2.1 Background
      • 1.2.2 Regulatory authority
      • 1.2.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Bahrain
      • 1.2.4 Interconnect
      • 1.2.5 Access
      • 1.2.6 Number portability
      • 1.2.7 Privatisation
    • 1.3 Fixed network operators in Bahrain
      • 1.3.1 Overview
      • 1.3.2 Bahrain telecommunications company (Batelco)
      • 1.3.3 Alternative operators
    • 1.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 1.4.1 National telecom network
      • 1.4.2 International infrastructure
    • 1.5 Wholesaling
      • 1.5.1 Overview
      • 1.5.2 Unbundled services (LLU)
  • 2. Iran
    • 2.1 Overview of Iran’s telecom market
    • 2.2 Regulatory environment
      • 2.2.1 Background
      • 2.2.2 Privatisation of TCI
      • 2.2.3 WiMAX licences
      • 2.2.4 Regulatory authority
    • 2.3 Fixed network operators in Iran
      • 2.3.1 Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI)
      • 2.3.2 Telecommunications Infrastructure Company (TIC)
      • 2.3.3 Other licence holders/Zoha Kish
    • 2.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.4.1 National telecom network
      • 2.4.2 International infrastructure
  • 3. Iraq
    • 3.1 Overview of Iraq’s telecom market
    • 3.2 Regulatory environment
      • 3.2.1 Background
      • 3.2.2 Regulatory authority
      • 3.2.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Iraq
    • 3.3 Fixed network operators in Iraq
      • 3.3.1 Iraqi Telephone and Postal Company (ITPC)
      • 3.3.2 Wireless Local Loop operators
    • 3.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 3.4.1 National telephone network
      • 3.4.2 International infrastructure
  • 4. Israel
    • 4.1 Overview of Israel’s telecom market
    • 4.2 Market analysis – 2010
    • 4.3 Regulatory Environment
      • 4.3.1 Regulatory authority
      • 4.3.2 Privatisation of Bezeq
      • 4.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Israel
      • 4.3.4 The situation in 2010 – a new telecom market
      • 4.3.5 Number Portability (NP)
      • 4.3.6 Universal Service Obligation (USO)
    • 4.4 Wholesaling
      • 4.4.1 Overview
      • 4.4.2 Naked DSL
    • 4.5 Major Fixed Network Operators
      • 4.5.1 Overview of operators
      • 4.5.2 Bezeq
      • 4.5.3 Bezeq International
      • 4.5.4 HOT Telecommunication Systems
      • 4.5.5 013 NetVision
      • 4.5.6 012 Smile Telecom
      • 4.5.7 Xfone 018/Marathon Telecommunications
    • 4.6 Telecommunications Infrastructure
      • 4.6.1 National telecom network
      • 4.6.2 International infrastructure
      • 4.6.3 Infrastructure developments
  • 5. Jordan
    • 5.1 Overview of Jordan’s telecom market
    • 5.2 Regulatory environment
      • 5.2.1 Background
      • 5.2.2 Regulatory authority
      • 5.2.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Jordan
      • 5.2.4 Privatisation
      • 5.2.5 Interconnect
      • 5.2.6 Carrier preselection
      • 5.2.7 Local Loop Unbundling (LLU)
    • 5.3 Fixed-network operators in Jordan
      • 5.3.1 Jordan Telecom Group/JTG/Orange Jordan
    • 5.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 5.4.1 National telecom network
      • 5.4.2 International infrastructure
    • 5.5 Wholesaling
      • 5.5.1 Access
      • 5.5.2 JTG’s pricing structure
      • 5.5.3 Friction between JTG and other ISPs
  • 6. Kuwait
    • 6.1 Overview of Kuwait’s telecom market
    • 6.2 Regulatory environment
      • 6.2.1 Background
      • 6.2.2 Regulatory authority
      • 6.2.3 Privatisation of Mobile Telecommunications Co
    • 6.3 Telecom operators in Kuwait
      • 6.3.1 Ministry of Communications
      • 6.3.2 Hits Telecom
    • 6.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 6.4.1 National telecom network
      • 6.4.2 International infrastructure
  • 7. Lebanon
    • 7.1 Overview of Lebanon’s telecom market
      • 7.1.1 InvestCom
      • 7.1.2 Saudi Oger/Oger Telecom
    • 7.2 Regulatory environment
      • 7.2.1 Background
      • 7.2.2 Regulatory authority
      • 7.2.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Lebanon
      • 7.2.4 Privatisation
      • 7.2.5 Interconnect
    • 7.3 Fixed network operator in Lebanon
      • 7.3.1 Ogero Telecom
    • 7.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 7.4.1 National telecom network
      • 7.4.2 International infrastructure
  • 8. Oman
    • 8.1 Overview of Oman’s telecom market
    • 8.2 Regulatory environment
      • 8.2.1 Background
      • 8.2.2 Regulatory authority
      • 8.2.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Oman
      • 8.2.4 Privatisation
      • 8.2.5 Interconnect
      • 8.2.6 Number Portability (NP)
      • 8.2.7 VoIP
    • 8.3 Fixed network operator in Oman
      • 8.3.1 Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel)
      • 8.3.2 -Nawras Telecom (Omani-Qatari Telecommunications Company)
    • 8.4 Fixed-line services
      • 8.4.1 Prepaid and postpaid fixed-line services
    • 8.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 8.5.1 National telecom network
      • 8.5.2 International infrastructure
  • 9. Qatar
    • 9.1 Overview of Qatar’s telecom market
    • 9.2 Regulatory environment
      • 9.2.1 Background
      • 9.2.2 Telecommunications Law 2006
      • 9.2.3 Telecommunications Executive By-Law 2009
      • 9.2.4 Tariff regulation
      • 9.2.5 Regulatory authority
      • 9.2.6 Telecom sector liberalisation in Qatar
      • 9.2.7 Privatisation
      • 9.2.8 Number portability
    • 9.3 Fixed network operator in Qatar
      • 9.3.1 Qatar Telecom (Qtel)
    • 9.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 9.4.1 National telecom network
      • 9.4.2 International infrastructure
  • 10. Saudi Arabia
    • 10.1 Overview of Saudi Arabia’s telecom market
    • 10.2 Regulatory environment
      • 10.2.1 Background
      • 10.2.2 Regulatory authority
      • 10.2.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Saudi Arabia
      • 10.2.4 Privatisation
      • 10.2.5 Interconnect and access
      • 10.2.6 Number Portability (NP)
      • 10.2.7 Universal service
    • 10.3 Fixed network operators in Saudi Arabia
      • 10.3.1 Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
      • 10.3.2 ITC
      • 10.3.3 Bayanat Al-Oula/Mobily
      • 10.3.4 Etihad Atheeb Telecommunications Company (GO)
    • 10.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 10.4.1 National telecom network
      • 10.4.2 International infrastructure
  • 11. Syria
    • 11.1 Overview of Syria’s telecom market
    • 11.2 Regulatory environment
      • 11.2.1 Background
      • 11.2.2 Regulatory authority
      • 11.2.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Syria
      • 11.2.4 Interconnect
    • 11.3 Fixed network operator in Syria
      • 11.3.1 Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE)
    • 11.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 11.4.1 National telecom network
      • 11.4.2 International infrastructure
  • 12. Turkey
    • 12.1 Overview of Turkey’s telecom market
    • 12.2 Regulatory Environment
      • 12.2.1 Background
      • 12.2.2 Regulatory authority
      • 12.2.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Turkey
      • 12.2.4 Privatisation
      • 12.2.5 Interconnect
      • 12.2.6 Access
      • 12.2.7 Number portability
      • 12.2.8 Universal services
      • 12.2.9 Electronic Signature Act
    • 12.3 Fixed Network Operators
      • 12.3.1 Overview
      • 12.3.2 Turk Telekom
      • 12.3.3 Turksat
      • 12.3.4 Superonline
      • 12.3.5 Borusan Telekom
    • 12.4 Telecommunications Infrastructure
      • 12.4.1 National telecom network
      • 12.4.2 International infrastructure
  • 13. United Arab Emirates
    • 13.1 Overview of UAE’s telecom market
    • 13.2 Regulatory Environment
      • 13.2.1 Background
      • 13.2.2 Regulatory authority
      • 13.2.3 Liberalisation
      • 13.2.4 VoIP prohibited
    • 13.3 Fixed Network Operators
      • 13.3.1 Overview
      • 13.3.2 Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat)
      • 13.3.3 Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company/du
      • 13.3.4 TECOM Investments/Dubai Holding/Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT)
      • 13.3.5 UAE investment companies owning telcos outside the UAE
    • 13.4 Telecommunications Infrastructure
      • 13.4.1 National telecom networks
      • 13.4.2 Infrastructure developments
      • 13.4.3 International infrastructure
  • 14. Yemen
    • 14.1 Overview of Yemen’s telecom market
    • 14.2 Regulatory environment
      • 14.2.1 Regulatory authority
      • 14.2.2 Telecom sector liberalisation in Yemen
      • 14.2.3 Privatisation
    • 14.3 Fixed network operators in Yemen
      • 14.3.1 TeleYemen/Yemen International Telecommunication Company
      • 14.3.2 Public Telecommunications Corporation (PTC)
    • 14.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 14.4.1 National telecom network
      • 14.4.2 International infrastructure
  • 15. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – Total telecommunications market revenue in Bahrain – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 2 – Telecommunications market revenue by sector in Bahrain – 2008
  • Table 3 – Fixed-line ARPU in Bahrain – 2007 - 2009
  • Table 4 – Batelco revenue and profit – Bahrain and other - 2005 - 2009
  • Table 5 – Batelco revenue by division - 2005 - 2008
  • Table 6 – Batelco total group mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2009
  • Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Bahrain - 1995 - 2011
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Iran – 1995 - 2011
  • Table 9 – Fibre optic network growth in Iran – 2004 - 2009
  • Table 10 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Iraq - 1990 - 2011
  • Table 11 – Bezeq share of fixed-line sector revenue in Israel – 2008 - 2009
  • Table 12 – International call operators market shares in Israel – 2009
  • Table 13 – Bezeq divisional revenues – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 14 – Active Bezeq fixed-line subscriber lines, MOU, and monthly ARPL – 2003 - 2010
  • Table 15 – Bezeq International outgoing calls market share – 2005 - 2009
  • Table 16 – HOT divisional revenue – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 17 – HOT domestic telephony subscribers – 2005 - 2009
  • Table 18 – 013 NetVision revenue and profit – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 19 – 012 Smile.Communications/012 Smile Telecom revenue and profit – 2005 - 2009
  • Table 20 – 012 Smile VoIP lines – 2006 - 2010
  • Table 21 – Xfone revenue and profit – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 22 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Israel – 1995 - 2011
  • Table 23 – Telecommunications investment by sector in Jordan – 2005 - 2009
  • Table 24 – Jordan Telecom Group profit and revenue by sector – 2004 - 2009
  • Table 25 – Jordan Telecom Group divisional subscribers – 2005 - 2009
  • Table 26 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Jordan – 1995 - 2011
  • Table 27 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Kuwait - 1995 - 2011
  • Table 28 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Lebanon - 1996 - 2011
  • Table 29 – Omantel fixed-line ARPU – 2003 - 2009
  • Table 30 – Omantel financial data – 2003 - 2009
  • Table 31 – Postpaid and prepaid fixed-line subscribers in Oman – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 32 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Oman – 1995 - 2011
  • Table 33 – Qtel group mobile and fixed-line revenue and net profit – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 34 – Qtel Qatar mobile and fixed-line revenue and net profit – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 35 – Qtel Qatar fixed-line revenue breakdown – 2008 - 2010
  • Table 36 – Qtel Qatar fixed-line subscribers and ARPU – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 37 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Qatar – 1995 - 2011
  • Table 38 – Mobile, fixed-line and total telecommunications services revenue in Saudi Arabia – 2001 - 2009
  • Table 39 – STC Group revenue and profit – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 40 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Saudi Arabia – 1996 - 2011
  • Table 41 – STE Revenue by sector – 2005 - 2007; 2009
  • Table 42 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Syria – 1995 - 2011
  • Table 43 – Telecoms revenue and investment in Turkey – 2004 - 2009
  • Table 44 – Alternative fixed-line operators market share in Turkey – 2007 - 2009
  • Table 45 – Turk Telekom – Revenue, profit and EBITDA – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 46 – Turk Telekom – Fixed-line revenue, EBITDA and PSTN ARPU – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 47 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Turkey – 1995 - 2011
  • Table 48 – Total telecommunications revenue by sector in UAE – 2007 - 2009
  • Table 49 – Total fixed network revenue and ARPU in UAE – 2007 - 2009
  • Table 50 – Etisalat group revenues and divisional representation – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 51 – du revenue and profit/loss – 2006 - 2010
  • Table 52 – Fixed lines in service, teledensity and subscribers by operator in UAE – 1995 - 2011
  • Table 53 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Yemen – 1995 - 2011

Related Reports

Purchase this Report

US$250.00

Licence Information

Annual Publication Profile

Technologies

Companies (Major Players)
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages 130

Status Archived

Last updated 10 Aug 2010
Update History

Analyst: Paul Kwon

Share this Report

Purchase with Confidence

As you know, I have resigned from the Labor Ministry and have decided not to re-contest the seat of Charlton at the next election – both for personal reasons.

Before leaving Parliament, I particularly wish to record my thanks to you for your generous and constructive participation in the deliberations that generated significant economic policy reforms for the Australian community. Continuous economic transformation is a key challenge that faces all Governments.

The development of sound public policy should always be contestable. Ultimately, good and equitable outcomes are not concessions to any particular interest group, but the careful balancing of interests to create the greatest possible benefit for the nation. You have contributed to that, and I sincerely thank you for it.

Greg Combet, Former Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation

Special Offers

Caribbean - Telecoms, Mobile, and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
US$795.00 until 30 Oct 2019
(normal price US$1,590.00)

Venezuela - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
US$575.00 until 30 Oct 2019
(normal price US$1,150.00)

Sample Reports

A selection of downloadable samples from our Annual Publications catalogue.


Download a Sample Report

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.