Tunisia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

Executive summary

Tunisia’s regulator consults on launch of LTE services


As a result of heavy investments in the telecom sector since the mid-1990s, Tunisia has one of the most developed telecommunications and broadband infrastructures in Northern Africa, sporting some of the continent’s highest market penetration rates and lowest prices. The events of the ‘Arab Spring’ revolution in 2011 drove the country into a mild recession, but GDP growth returned to pre-crisis levels the following year and is expected to remain stable at around 4.5% from 2015 onwards. Nevertheless, subsequent political difficulties have had an impact on the telecom sector, notably causing the delay in the sale of EIT’s 35% interest in Tunisie Telecom, the country’s fixed-line incumbent which offers a full range of services.

The mobile sector has experienced exceptional growth since the introduction of a second GSM network in 2002, operated initially by Egypt’s Orascom under the name Tunisiana and now by Qatar Telecom (Qtel) which rebranded it to Ooredoo. France Telecom/Orange entered the market as the third operator in 2010 and launched Tunisia’s first commercial 3G mobile service, followed by Tunicell in 2011 and Tunisiana in 2012. HSPA+ services with up to 42Mb/s using dual carrier technology are now available, while there are moves to develop commercial LTE services by the end of 2014 or early 2015.

Ooredoo and Orange are also licensed as fixed-line operators and have launched DSL and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) services. In addition, eleven ISPs compete in this sector, supported by a nationwide fibre optic backbone network and international access via submarine and terrestrial fibre. The former government encouraged and promoted internet use but at the same time kept tight control by restricting access to certain websites. A reform of the country’s Telecommunications Act was initiated in 2013 and government internet censorship was officially abolished. In addition, laws supporting e-commerce and digital signatures have been passed, which has led to one of the most active e-government and e-commerce sectors in Africa.

In mid-2014 the regulator put in place a number of new measures and rules centred on consumer rights in the telecom sector. It also affirmed its commitment to implement a universal service regime and Number Portability in a bid to encourage market competition, as well as develop a mechanism to encourage infrastructure sharing agreements among operators.

Market penetration rates in Tunisia’s telecoms sector – July 2014

Market
Penetration rate
Mobile
132%
Fixed
8.2%
Internet
49%

(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Key developments:

Regulator opens consultation on 4G services; FttP and VDSL2 vectoring services launched, offering data at up to 100Mb/s; X-Labs develops mesh WiFi networks; MNOs call for committee to manage launch of LTE services; Didon submarine cable makes landing in Tunisia and is lit for services to Sicily and beyond; minority stake in Tunisie Telecom delayed through political difficulties; reform of Telecommunications Act initiated; government’s censorship of the internet s officially abolished; 3G mobile broadband growth outshines fixed-line broadband; report includes the regulator’s market data to January 2015; telcos’ financial and operating date to Q1 2015, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Tunisie Telecom (Tunicell), Orange (France Telecom), Ooredoo (Tunisiana, Orascom, Wataniya, Qatar Telecom/Qtel), Planet Tunisie, 3S GlobalNet, HexaByte, Tunet, Topnet, Divona Telecom, Thuraya, Nokia Systems and Networks (NSN), Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson.

Publication overview:

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Austria’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;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • 3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
    • 2.1 Country overview
  • 3. Telecommunications market
    • 3.1 Davos World Economic Forum ranking 2008-2013
    • 3.2 Market analysis
  • 4. Regulatory environment
    • 4.1 Background
    • 4.2 Telecommunications Act 2001
      • 4.2.1 2008 amendments
      • 4.2.2 2013 reform
      • 4.2.3 Developments in 2014
    • 4.3 Regulatory authorities
      • 4.3.1 INT
      • 4.3.2 ONT
    • 4.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Tunisia
    • 4.5 Number Portability (NP)
  • 5. Fixed network operators in Tunisia
    • 5.1 Tunisie Telecom (TT)
      • 5.1.1 Privatisation
      • 5.1.2 Fixed-line statistics
      • 5.1.3 National telecom network
    • 5.2 Orange Tunisie
    • 5.3 Ooredoo (Tunisiana)
  • 6. International infrastructure
    • 6.1 Submarine fibre
    • 6.2 Terrestrial
    • 6.3 Satellite
  • 7. Data market
    • 7.1 VSAT
  • 8. Internet market
    • 8.1 Overview
      • 8.1.1 Internet statistics
    • 8.2 PC market and penetration
    • 8.3 Public Internet access locations
    • 8.4 Agence Tunisienne d’Internet (ATI)
    • 8.5 Internet censorship, Net neutrality
    • 8.6 Tunisia’s ISP market
      • 8.6.1 Public sector ISPs
      • 8.6.2 Private sector ISPs
  • 9. Broadband market
    • 9.1 Overview
    • 9.2 DSL
      • 9.2.1 ADSL
      • 9.2.2 VDSL
    • 9.3 WiMAX
    • 9.4 Mesh WiFi
    • 9.5 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
    • 9.6 Satellite broadband
    • 9.7 Mobile internet
  • 10. Digital Economy
    • 10.1 VoIP
    • 10.2 E-commerce
    • 10.3 E-learning
    • 10.4 E-government
  • 11. Mobile communications
    • 11.1 Overview of Tunisia’s mobile market
      • 11.1.1 Mobile statistics
    • 11.2 Major mobile operators
      • 11.2.1 Tunicell (Tunisie Telecom)
      • 11.2.2 Ooredoo (Tunisiana)
      • 11.2.3 Orange Tunisie
    • 11.3 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 11.4 Mobile data services
      • 11.4.1 SMS, MMS
      • 11.4.2 GPRS, EDGE, WAP, Blackberry
    • 11.5 Third Generation (3G)
    • 11.6 Long-term Evolution (4G/LTE)
    • 11.7 Mobile TV
    • 11.8 Satellite mobile
    • 11.9 GSM-R
  • 12. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Tunisia – 2014
  • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2015 (e)
  • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2015
  • Table 4 – Internet statistics – 2015 (e)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2015 (e)
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 7 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia – 1995 - 2004
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia – 2005 - 2015
  • Table 9 – Fixed-line subscribers by operator – 2009 - 2014
  • Table 10 – Fixed-line market share by operator – 2009 - 2014
  • Table 11 – Data service subscribers by technology in Tunisia – 2001 - 2013
  • Table 12 – Tunisia’s international bandwidth – 2001; 2006 - 2013
  • Table 13 – Internet subscribers, users and penetration rate in Tunisia – 1999 - 2015
  • Table 14 – PC penetration in Tunisia – 1999 - 2013
  • Table 15 – Fixed-line broadband connections by data speed – 2014 - 2015
  • Table 16 – ADSL subscribers vs total internet subscribers in Tunisia – 2002 - 2015
  • Table 17 – ADSL markets share by operator – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 18 – Ooredoo FttP pricing – 2015
  • Table 19 – FttP subscribers – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 20 – Active mobile broadband subscribers (3G with key) – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 21 – Active mobile broadband subscribers by operator – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 22 – Mobile broadband market share by operator – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 23 – Mobile broadband subscribers (3G) and penetration – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 24 – VoIP lines in service in Tunisia – 2013 - 2014
  • Table 25 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia – 1995 - 2004
  • Table 26 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 27 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2009 - 2014
  • Table 28 – Tunisie Telecom mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 29 – Ooredoo revenue and blended monthly ARPU – 2002 - 2014
  • Table 30 – Ooredoo subscribers and blended monthly ARPU – 2002 - 2014
  • Table 31 – Orange Tunisie subscribers – 2010 - 2014
  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia – 2005 – 2015
  • Chart 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia – 2005 - 2016
  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Tunisia

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