Market Research Logo

2007 Africa - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Northern Region


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in the telecommunications markets of seven African countries: Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia. Subjects covered include:

  • Key Statistics
  • Market and Industry Overviews
  • Regulatory environment and structural reform
  • Major Players (fixed and mobile)
  • Infrastructure development
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets
  • Internet, including broadband development
Please Note: There is an update to this report.


Northern Africa is home to some of the most developed telecom markets on the continent. All countries in this group except for landlocked Chad have well developed fixed-line infrastructures and direct access to international submarine fibre optic cables. Most incumbent telcos in the region are already privatised, with Algerie Telecom scheduled to follow suit in 2007. Tunisia is planning to licence a second fixed-line operator, joining Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Sudan which already have two and, in the case of Morocco, three operators. Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia have fast growing broadband markets, supported by some of the lowest access prices in Africa. Commercial 3G mobile services have been launched in Egypt, Libya and Morocco and are expected in Algeria and Sudan shortly while Tunisia has several pilot projects. Commercial WiMAX networks are operational in Algeria and Morocco, with rollouts in progress in Egypt and Tunisia.

Algeria
Algeria’s mobile market exceeded all expectations when it continued to grow by around 200% four years in a row and soared past the 65% penetration mark. The country’s fixed-line market lags behind the other relatively affluent North African countries, and its second operator is considering exiting the market again after only one year of operations, claiming unfair competition. Accelerated developments can be expected from 2007 onwards resulting from the upcoming privatisation of the country’s incumbent telco, the award of 3G mobile licences, the expansion of wireless broadband networks and VoIP Internet telephony services. Algeria has some of the lowest ADSL prices in Africa, an extensive national and international fibre backbone network, and a FttH pilot project.

Chad
The recent discovery of oil is set to bring Chad some of the foreign investment it urgently needs to upgrade its telecom facilities and other infrastructure. The country has some of the world’s lowest penetration rates for fixed-line, mobile and Internet services. Competition exists only in the mobile sector between two privately owned networks. The fixed-line incumbent’s network is running at its capacity limit which, along with high prices, has also hampered the development of the Internet sector. One of the mobile operators has embarked on seizing this opportunity by introducing mobile data services.

Egypt
Egypt’s telecom sector is performing consistently well with all sub-sectors being open to competition. Around 1,500 new fixed lines are installed in the country every day which has helped to reduce the waiting list by around 90% in recent years. The incumbent telco, Telecom Egypt, is partially privatised and highly profitable. The end of its fixed-line monopoly in 2006 has opened up new opportunities for competitive service providers, and a third mobile licence has been awarded. VoIP Internet telephony has been liberalised, and several companies are rolling out NGN to provide converged voice and data services.

Supported by forward-looking government programs, Egypt has become one of the leading Internet markets in Africa in terms of users, international bandwidth and services offered. The country is well connected by several international submarine fibre optic cables in combination with a national fibre backbone infrastructure, and the international bandwidth market has been liberalised. The entire sector is highly competitive with more than 200 Internet and data service providers, which has lead to some of the lowest prices for ADSL services on the continent and broadband packages with up to 24Mb/s delivered to residential households.

Egypt became one of the first countries in Africa to launch 3G mobile services in May 2007, following the award of the country’s third mobile licence in 2006. The record price that was paid for the licence indicates the potential that is seen in the Egyptian mobile market, at less than 30% market penetration which is about equally shared between two GSM operators. In anticipation of the new competition, subscriber growth has accelerated. Both existing networks have launched a range of mobile data and information services.

Libya
Libya is emerging from almost two decades of economic isolation, which contributed to the stagnation of its oil industry, the mainstay of its economy, and invariably its telecoms sector. Despite having an old style monopoly player for the provision of posts and telecommunications services, its fixed-line network is superior to those in many other African countries and is sporting one of the highest teledensities on the continent. In sharp contrast, the mobile sub-sector remained underdeveloped until the introduction of a second GSM network in 2004 which sent market penetration skyrocketing from one of the lowest in Africa to one of the highest within only two years. 3G mobile services have been launched and are set to stimulate the underdeveloped Internet sector as well.

Morocco
Morocco is one of the most advanced telecommunications markets in Africa, featuring a majority-privatised, highly profitable incumbent telco, three fixed network operators, a mobile penetration in excess of 55%, as well as the highest penetration and some of the lowest prices for broadband access on the continent. The second and third fixed network operators are both rolling out wireless infrastructures based on the WiMAX standard which will allow the provision of converged next-generation IP-based services. A commercial IPTV service was launched as one of the first in Africa. 3G mobile services were introduced in 2007. The Moroccan market is set for continued spectacular growth that will see it reach levels of development rivalling those of some European markets over the next five to ten years.

Sudan
The third largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the biggest countries on the continent, Sudan is regarded as one of Africa’s most lucrative telecommunications markets, receiving hundreds of millions of Dollars in foreign investment in 2007. Enormous further potential exists since penetration rates are still low in all market segments. Two fixed-line and three mobile networks are competing for customers, rolling out broadband and next-generation services. The majority stake in the country’s leading mobile network was sold in 2006 for a record price. Under a recent peace agreement, the oil-rich south of the country which has been beyond the central government’s control and deprived of development, is now establishing its own independent telecommunications regime, creating huge new opportunities for service providers and equipment suppliers.

Tunisia
Tunisia has one of the most developed telecommunications infrastructures in the relatively affluent Northern African region and sports some of the continent’s highest market penetration rates. The mobile sector has experienced exceptional growth since the introduction of competition in 2002. A nationwide fibre optic backbone and international access via submarine cables, coupled with some of the lowest broadband prices in Africa have supported rapid development of the Internet sector. The incumbent telco was part-privatised in 2006, and the licensing of a second fixed-line operator is expected in the near future.

Key highlights

Fixed-line, mobile and Internet market forecasts to 2010 and 2015 for Algeria, Egypt and Morocco;
Second fixed-line licence expected in Tunisia;
Privatisation of Algerie Telecom in progress;
Algeria and Egypt are the most advanced VoIP markets in Africa;
One of Africa’s first commercial IPTV services launched in Morocco;
A majority stake in Sudan’s leading mobile network was sold for a record price;

Libya’s mobile market penetration has skyrocketed from one of the lowest in Africa to one of the highest within only two years.
Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Libya - 1998-2006
Year Subscribers Penetration
1998 20,000 0.34%
1999 28,000 0.51%
2000 39,800 0.71%
2001 50,000 0.89%
2002 710,000 1.3%
2003 127,000 2.3%
2004 320,000 5.6%
2005 877,700 15%
2006 (e) 4,015,000 67%
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on this region, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation;
Telecoms operators - privatisation, acquisitions, new licences and competition;
Internet and broadband development and growth;
The fast growing mobile markets of the region;
Mobile application and content developments.

1. ALGERIA
1.1 Key statistics
1.2 Telecommunications market
1.2.1 Overview of Algeria’s telecom market
1.3 Regulatory environment
1.3.1 Historic background
1.3.2 Law of 2000
1.3.3 Regulatory authority
1.3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Algeria
1.3.5 Privatisation of Algerie Telecom
1.3.6 Interconnection
1.4 Fixed network operators in Algeria
1.4.1 Algerie Telecom
1.4.2 CAT (Lacom)
1.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
1.5.1 National telecom network
1.5.2 International infrastructure
1.6 Broadband and Internet market
1.6.1 Internet market
1.6.2 Broadband market
1.7 Mobile communications
1.7.1 Overview of Algeria’s mobile market
1.7.2 Mobile technologies
1.7.3 Major mobile operators
1.7.4 Mobile voice services
1.8 Broadcasting market
1.8.1 Overview
1.8.2 Satellite TV
1.8.3 Digital TV
1.9 Forecasts
1.9.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
1.9.2 Forecasts - fixed-line services
1.9.3 Forecasts - Internet services
1.9.4 Forecasts - mobile market
2. CHAD
2.1 Key statistics
2.2 Telecommunications market
2.2.1 Overview of Chad’s telecom market
2.3 Regulatory environment
2.3.1 Telecommunications Act 1998
2.3.2 Regulatory authority
2.4 Fixed network operator in Chad
2.4.1 Sotel Tchad
2.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
2.5.1 National telecom network
2.5.2 International infrastructure
2.6 Internet market
2.6.1 Overview
2.6.2 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony
2.7 Mobile communications
2.7.1 Overview of Chad’s mobile market
2.7.2 Major mobile operators
2.7.3 Mobile voice services
2.8 Broadcasting market
3. EGYPT
3.1 Key statistics
3.2 Telecommunications market
3.2.1 Overview of Egypt’s telecom market
3.3 Regulatory environment
3.3.1 Background
3.3.2 Creation of a new regulatory framework
3.3.3 Legislative reform
3.3.4 Regulatory authority
3.3.5 Telecommunications Master Plan
3.3.6 Telecom sector liberalisation in Egypt
3.3.7 Privatisation of Telecom Egypt
3.3.8 Interconnection
3.4 Fixed network operators in Egypt
3.4.1 Telecom Egypt
3.4.2 Orascom Telecom
3.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
3.5.1 National telecom network
3.5.2 International infrastructure
3.5.3 Fixed voice market
3.6 Data market
3.6.1 Data service operators
3.6.2 VSAT networks
3.6.3 Data centres
3.7 Broadband and Internet market
3.7.1 Internet market
3.7.2 Broadband market
3.8 Convergence
3.8.1 VoIP telephony
3.8.2 Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
3.8.3 IPTV
3.8.4 E-commerce
3.8.5 Smart Village
3.8.6 Technology incubators
3.8.7 Information Highway Project
3.8.8 E-government
3.8.9 Overview of broadcasting market
3.9 Mobile communications
3.9.1 Overview of Egypt’s mobile market
3.9.2 Regulatory issues
3.9.3 Mobile technologies
3.9.4 Major mobile operators
3.9.5 Mobile voice services
3.9.6 Mobile data services
3.9.7 ARPU and AUPU
3.10 Forecasts
3.10.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
3.10.2 Forecasts - fixed-line services
3.10.3 Forecasts - Internet services
3.10.4 Forecasts - broadband services
3.10.5 Forecasts - mobile market
4. LIBYA
4.1 Key statistics
4.2 Telecommunications market
4.2.1 Overview of Libya’s telecom market
4.3 Telecommunications infrastructure
4.3.1 National telecom network
4.3.2 International infrastructure
4.4 Internet market
4.4.1 Overview
4.4.2 Computer initiatives - One Laptop per Child (OLPC)
4.4.3 Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs)
4.4.4 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
4.5 Mobile communications
4.5.1 Overview of Libya’s mobile market
4.5.2 Mobile technologies
4.5.3 Major mobile operators
4.5.4 Mobile voice services
4.6 Broadcasting market
4.6.1 Television broadcasting in Libya
4.6.2 Pay TV
5. MOROCCO
5.1 Key statistics
5.2 Telecommunications market
5.2.1 Overview of Morocco’s telecom market
5.3 Regulatory environment
5.3.1 Telecommunications Law 1997
5.3.2 Telecom law amendments 2002
5.3.3 Law 55-01 of 2004
5.3.4 Regulatory authority
5.3.5 Telecom sector liberalisation in Morocco
5.3.6 Privatisation of Maroc Telecom
5.3.7 Universal service
5.3.8 Interconnection
5.3.9 Number Portability
5.3.10 Unbundled Local Loop (ULL)
5.4 Fixed network operators in Morocco
5.4.1 Maroc Telecom
5.4.2 Medi Telecom (Meditel)
5.4.3 Maroc Connect (Wana)
5.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
5.5.1 National telecom network
5.5.2 Public call offices (teleboutiques)
5.5.3 International infrastructure
5.6 Broadband and Internet market
5.6.1 Internet market
5.6.2 Broadband market
5.7 Convergence
5.7.1 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony
5.7.2 E-commerce
5.7.3 E-learning
5.7.4 IPTV
5.7.5 Overview of broadcasting market
5.8 Mobile communications
5.8.1 Overview of Morocco’s mobile market
5.8.2 Mobile technologies
5.8.3 Major mobile operators
5.8.4 Mobile voice services
5.9 Forecasts
5.9.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
5.9.2 Forecasts - fixed-line services
5.9.3 Forecasts - Internet services
5.9.4 Forecasts - broadband services
5.9.5 Forecasts - mobile market
6. SUDAN
6.1 Key statistics
6.2 Telecommunications market
6.2.1 Overview of Sudan’s telecom market
6.3 Regulatory environment
6.3.1 Background
6.3.2 Regulatory authority
6.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Sudan
6.3.4 Privatisation of Sudatel
6.4 Fixed network operators in Sudan
6.4.1 Sudan Telecommunications Co Ltd
6.4.2 Canartel (Canar Telecom)
6.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
6.5.1 National telecom network
6.5.2 International infrastructure
6.6 Southern Sudan
6.6.1 Network of the World (NOW)
6.6.2 Gemtel
6.7 Broadband and Internet market
6.7.1 Internet market
6.7.2 Broadband market
6.8 Mobile communications
6.8.1 Overview of Sudan’s mobile market
6.8.2 Major mobile operators
6.8.3 Mobile voice services
6.9 Broadcasting
6.9.1 Radio and TV broadcasting in Sudan
7. TUNISIA
7.1 Key statistics
7.2 Telecommunications market
7.2.1 Overview of Tunisia’s telecom market
7.2.2 World Economic Forum ranking
7.3 Regulatory environment
7.3.1 Background
7.3.2 Telecommunications Act 2001
7.3.3 Regulatory authorities
7.3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Tunisia
7.3.5 Privatisation of Tunisie Telecom
7.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
7.4.1 National telecom network
7.4.2 International infrastructure
7.5 Data market
7.5.1 Overview
7.6 Internet market
7.6.1 Overview
7.6.2 Agence Tunisienne d’Internet (ATI)
7.6.3 Internet access locations
7.6.4 Tunisia’s ISP market
7.6.5 Broadband in Tunisia
7.7 Convergence
7.7.1 Overview of broadcasting market
7.7.2 E-commerce
7.7.3 E-government
7.8 Mobile communications
7.8.1 Overview of Tunisia’s mobile market
7.8.2 Mobile technologies
7.8.3 Major mobile operators
7.8.4 Mobile voice services
8. GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS


List of Exhibits


Exhibit 1 - Licences issued - March 2007
Exhibit 2 - National and regional fibre networks
Exhibit 3 - Data service provider licences in Egypt and year of issue
Exhibit 4 - Vodafone Egypt lists on Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange
Exhibit 5 - An analysis of Egypt’s third mobile licence valuation
Exhibit 6 - Analysis of Maroc Telecom’s fixed-line rollercoaster ride
Exhibit 7 - Tunisia’s strategy to promote the Information Society


List of Tables


Table 1 - Country statistics Algeria - 2006
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 3 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 4 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 6 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2006
Table 8 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1996 - 2006
Table 9 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - 2006
Table 10 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2006
Table 11 - Forecast ixed-line and fixed-wireless subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 12 - Forecast Internet user growth - 2010; 2015
Table 13 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 14 - Country statistics Chad - 2006
Table 15 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 16 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 17 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 18 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 19 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 20 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2006
Table 21 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1998 - 2006
Table 22 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - 2006
Table 23 - Country statistics Egypt - 2006
Table 24 - Telephone network statistics - March 2007
Table 25 - Internet provider statistics - 2007
Table 26 - Internet user statistics - March 2007
Table 27 - Mobile statistics - March 2007
Table 28 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 29 - Telecom Egypt key performance indicators - 2003 - 2006
Table 30 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2007
Table 31 - Public payphones per operator - 2002 - 2007
Table 32 - Internet users and penetration - 1995 - 2007
Table 33 - ADSL subscribers in Egypt - 2002 - 2007
Table 34 - Mobile subscribers, penetration and annual growth - 1996 - 2007
Table 35 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - March 2007
Table 36 - MobiNil subscribers - 1998 - 2007
Table 37 - MobiNil key performance indicators - 2002 - 2006
Table 38 - Vodafone Egypt subscribers - 1998 - 2007
Table 39 - MobiNil blended monthly ARPU and AUPU - 2004 - 2006
Table 40 - Fforecast Fixed-line and fixed-wireless subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 41 - Forecast Internet user growth - 2010; 2015
Table 42 - Forecast broadband subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 43 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 44 - Country statistics Libya - 2006
Table 45 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 46 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 47 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 48 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 49 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 50 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2006
Table 51 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1999 - 2006
Table 52 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - 2006
Table 53 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1998 - 2006
Table 54 - Country statistics Morocco - 2006
Table 55 - Telephone network statistics - June 2007
Table 56 - Internet provider statistics - June 2007
Table 57 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 58 - Mobile statistics - June 2007
Table 59 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 60 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1994 - 2007
Table 61 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1997 - 2006
Table 62 - Internet and ADSL subscribers (MT and others) - 2004 - 2007
Table 63 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - June 2007
Table 64 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1994 - 2007
Table 65 - Forecast fixed-line and fixed-wireless subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 66 - Forecast Internet user growth - 2010; 2015
Table 67 - Forecast broadband subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 68 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 69 - Country statistics Sudan - 2006
Table 70 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 71 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 72 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 73 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 74 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 75 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1994 - 2006
Table 76 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1997 - 2006
Table 77 - GSM mobile operators, subscribers and annual growth - 2006
Table 78 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1996 - 2006
Table 79 - Country statistics Tunisia - 2006
Table 80 - Telephone network statistics - March 2007
Table 81 - Internet provider statistics - March 2007
Table 82 - Internet user statistics - March 2007
Table 83 - Mobile statistics - March 2007
Table 84 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 85 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2007
Table 86 - Internet users, penetration and subscribers - 1995 - 2007
Table 87 - ADSL subscribers - 2002 - 2007
Table 88 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - March 2007
Table 89 - Mobile subscribers - 1995 - 2007
Table 90 - Tunisiana subscribers - 2002 - 2007

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report