Syria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Mobile broadband penetration reaches around 15% in Syria
In 2019 mobile broadband penetration in Syria has reached only around 15% penetration. Mobile broadband infrastructure is still based predominantly on 3G, despite LTE being launched in 2017. Generally speaking, mobile broadband population coverage is quite high, with around 85% for 3G technology - but the number of actual mobile broadband subscriptions is very low – providing potential opportunities for growth once infrastructure and economic reconstruction efforts make headway.
Many Syrian’s do have access to mobile cellular services however, with around 98% penetration and consumers often own cheap or second hand smart phones. Syria’s mobile market is served by a duopoly comprised of two operators, MTN Syria and Syriatel. Prepaid services have been instrumental in encouraging mobile take up by the mass market.
Overall, the telecoms sector has paid a heavy toll from the years of civil war destruction in Syria. Telecommunications in Syria are decentralized and some of the remote areas rely on expensive satellite communications while the urban areas utilise the highly regulated network supplied by the government-owned Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE). Initiatives have been launched to liberalise the market in the past but without much success.
The years of civil unrest in Syria have taken their toll on Syria's telecommunications infrastructure and while the capital Damascus has survived reasonably well, it is the outskirts, rural and remote areas which have felt the brunt of the destruction.
The international aid network known as the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster has been operating in Syria for many years and provides emergency Internet connectivity and telecommunications services.