Yemen is a unique market for telecommunications providers to operate in because the ongoing civil conflict has resulted in around 75% of the population reportedly needing humanitarian assistance. In addition, it is a dangerous market for company personnel as well as destructive for infrastructure such as mobile towers which are often deliberately targeted.
In this situation, just supplying basic telecommunications services to the community becomes extremely challenging. It is difficult to perform maintenance to infrastructure in areas of open conflict and the safety of staff must be a top priority.
Despite this however, it is also vital that emergency communications services are available in order to perhaps 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.
Aid organisations, including those assisting to resolve telecommunications services, also face challenges moving about Yemen due to the security issues. One such aid organisation, the Emergency Telecommunication Cluster (ETC), has been operating in Yemen for a few years and is providing security telecommunications services and basic internet and power charging stations, where possible. ETC utilises a mix of technologies and particularly relies on satellite for some of the more difficult areas.
Satellite and radio communications have become important technologies generally to supply services in Yemen as in the rural and remote areas there is a scarcity of telecommunications equipment, infrastructure and service providers such as ISPs.
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.
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.
TeleYemen, Public Telecommunications Corporation (PTC), Yemen Mobile, SabaFon, MTN Yemen, Y Telecom, Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), DARE submarine cable consortium.
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Number of pages 51
Last updated 20 Mar 2019
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