Sudan makes up the northern part of a country which in 2011 was separated to form the new state of South Sudan. Three quarters of the former population live in the north, where mobile market penetration is far higher. The country has a relatively well-equipped telecommunications infrastructure by regional standards, including a national fibre optic backbone and international fibre connections.
The economy has performed poorly in recent years, partly due to the effects of having lost much of its oil reserves to South Sudan and partly due to domestic volatility and social unrest. This has hindered the ability of operators to develop revenue from services and sufficiently invest in infrastructure upgrades. Sudatel during 2016 has invested in rural tower infrastructure to improve connectivity, though such measures remain far below what is required.
The national telco, Sudatel, was privatised more than a decade ago, with major shares and management control now held by Etisalat of the UAE and by Qatar Telecom. It is also listed on several regional stock exchanges. The company presided over the world’s fastest growing fixed-line market until it started substituting traditional copper lines with CDMA2000 fixed-wireless access in 2005.
Competition in the fixed-line market comes from Canar Telecom, which was also majority-owned by Etisalat until Etisalat sold its 92.3% interest to the Bank of Khartoum in mid-2016. The operator also opted for CDMA2000 technology to cost effectively roll out fixed services and, like Sudatel, offers wireless broadband services through this network, having upgraded to the EV-DO standard.
|Mobile SIM (population)||77%|
Zain Sudan, MTN Sudan, Sudatel, Sudani, Canar Telecom (Canartel), SudaNet, ZinaNet, Thuraya
Companies (Major Players)
Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Regulations & Government Policies
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Number of pages 28
Last updated 13 Aug 2016
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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