Yemen - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 8 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 59

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Telecom services are impacted by civil issues in Yemen

Yemen is a unique and challenging market for telecommunications providers to operate in, with the civil unrest causing havoc and devastation on many levels. A large percentage of the population reportedly needs humanitarian assistance and amidst this volatile environment, essential infrastructure is often targeted and destroyed or damaged, including important telecoms equipment like mobile phone towers and fibre-optic cabling, along with electricity and healthcare services. It was reported that as recently as March 2020, warplane strikes caused damage to telecoms network infrastructure.

The ownership of telecommunication services and scrutiny of associated revenues and taxes have become a political issue in Yemen. In 2019 it was reported that the internationally recognised government had moved Tele Yemen’s headquarters from Sana’a into Aden, in order to regain control of it. It also launched a new Internet service, known as AdenNet, built using Huawei equipment.

Supplying basic telecommunications services to the community has become extremely challenging. It is difficult to perform maintenance on infrastructure in areas of open conflict and ensure the safety of staff.

However, it is also vital that emergency communications services are available in order to convey warnings to citizens; allow aid organisations to co-ordinate their efforts; facilitate crisis mapping and provide information regarding access to food and medical relief.

Until telecommunications infrastructure can be improved across Yemen and the civil unrest stabilises – there will be very little progress ahead for the sector in the short term. This BuddeComm report provides insight and statistics into Yemen’s telecommunication sector including the mobile, fixed and broadband sectors.

Please note: Yemen can be a difficult market to research given the volatile civil unrest and rising concerns regarding famine. All recent statistics are estimated only as the current situation is largely unknown. There is reportedly significant destruction to telecoms infrastructure.

BuddeComm also notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains all around the world. During this time, the telecoms sector may experience a downturn in mobile device and ICT equipment production and a decline in consumer spending on telecoms services. Overall progress towards 5G may also be postponed or slowed down in some countries. Please also note: Industry forecasts contained in this report have not taken Coronavirus into consideration as it is yet largely unknown what the long-term impact will be.

Key developments:

  • In 2020 Yemen faces several challenges including civil issues, the potential of famine, floods and possible disease outbreaks such as cholera, Covid-19 (Coronavirus), and managing a large number of displaced persons.
  • In early 2020 Yemen’s internet access was disabled for around a month, following damage to the FALCON submarine cable. This impacted upon the economy as well as banks, enterprise and money exchange outlets.
  • Yemen had done much to upgrade and expand its telecom sector prior to the civil unrest. However tele-density remains among the lowest in the Arab states, reflecting Yemen's status as one of the poorest countries in the region.

Companies mentioned in this report include:

AdenNet, TeleYemen, Public Telecommunications Corporation (PTC), Yemen Mobile, Sabafon, MTN Yemen, Y Telecom, Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), DARE submarine cable consortium.

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