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Iraq - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband


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Iraq - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Mobile technology dominates in Iraq due to the civil instability

The telecoms infrastructure in Iraq is representative of an embattled country that has seen decades of conflict - from civil war; to regional wars with Iran; deployment of US and coalition troops and strict UN sanctions. At times there have been attempts to rebuild the telecoms infrastructure but with the unrest in Iraq intensifying again overall it is the fixed networks which have suffered as a result of all the upheaval.

In contrast mobile technology has thrived and nearly all citizens have cellular devices although ownership of smart phones is low. Iraq is still reliant on 2G technology which has led to a stagnated growth in mobile data services. However with the mobile operators gaining approval in 2014 to begin offering 3G services in Iraq this is one bright spot for future progress in this war-ravaged country.

In addition, the three major mobile operators all expanded their network coverage and product and service offerings in 2013. Mobile data services are becoming increasingly important as a source of new revenue as growth opportunities from new subscriber additions disappear in the maturing mobile voice market.

As with many parts of the Middle East, the Internet is tightly controlled and Iraq is no exception with the government trying to control or block Internet access in some areas in order to stop social media services being used to rally public support. With Internet penetration estimated at only around 11% in 2014; this is one sector earmarked for large growth potential in the future when the country stabilises.

While attempts have been made to deploy fibre optic infrastructure across Iraq; its penetration is still very low and expensive. This may create opportunities for satellite broadband providers.

While the potential of Iraq as a key growth area for telecommunications is well recognised unlocking this potential is mostly on hold at the moment while the continuing civil unrest remains unresolved.

Key telecom parameters 2012; 2014
Sector | 2012 | 2014
Subscribers to telecoms services (million):
Fixed Broadband | 0.1 | 0.2
Fixed-line telephony | 1.8 | 1.9
Mobile phone | 26.7 | 32.8
(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies covered in this report include:

Iraqi Telephone and Postal Company (ITPC), Itisaluna, Kalimat Telecom, Iraqtel, VitalTel, Hi Link Telecom, Omnnea, Newroz Telecom, Asiacell, Zain Iraq, Korek Telecom, Regional Telecom.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Iraq'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;
Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
Internet;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband;
Digital economy and digital media;
Mobile subscriber forecasts 2018; 2023.


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Iraq's telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Iraq
4.3.1 Wireless Local Loop licences
5. Fixed network operators in Iraq
5.1 Iraqi Telephone and Postal Company (ITPC)
5.2 Wireless Local Loop operators
5.2.1 Itisaluna Abr Al Iraq
5.2.2 Kalimat Telecom
5.2.3 Iraqtel
5.2.4 VitalTel
5.2.5 Omnnea
5.2.6 Hi Link Telecom
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telephone network
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Submarine cable networks
6.2.2 Satellite networks
7. Broadband access market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
7.2 Fibre to the Premises (FttP)
7.3 Satellite broadband
7.4 Wireless broadband
7.4.1 CDMA
7.4.2 WiMAX
8. Digital economy/digital media
8.1 Overview
8.2 e-education
8.3 e-health/m-health
8.4 e-government
8.5 Smart Grid
9. Digital broadcasting
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Iraq's mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Mobile subscriber forecasts
10.2.1 Scenario 1 higher growth
10.2.2 Scenario 2 lower growth
10.3 Regulatory issues
10.3.1 Temporary mobile licences awarded in 2003
10.3.2 Permanent licences awarded in 2007
10.3.3 Fourth mobile licence
10.4 Mobile technologies
10.4.1 Asiacell
10.4.2 Zain
10.4.3 Korek
10.4.4 Regional Telecom
10.4.5 3G developments
10.5 Major mobile operators
10.5.1 Asiacell Communications
10.5.2 Zain Iraq (formerly MTC Atheer)
10.5.3 Korek Telecom
10.5.4 Regional Telecom / Fastlink
10.6 Mobile voice services
10.6.1 Prepaid
10.6.2 Satellite mobile
10.7 Mobile data
10.7.1 Mobile Messaging
10.7.2 Mobile Internet access
10.8 Mobile content and applications
10.8.1 Mobile TV
11. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Iraq 2014
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2014
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2014
Table 4 Mobile statistics 2014
Table 5 National telecommunications authorities
Table 6 GDP growth and inflation 2006 - 2014
Table 7 Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1990 - 2014
Table 8 Internet user penetration and estimates 2001 - 2014
Table 9 Fixed broadband subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 10 International Internet bandwidth 2005 - 2013
Table 11 Household PC penetration 2008 - 2014
Table 12 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2002 - 2015
Table 13 Mobile operator market shares 2004 - 2014
Table 14 Forecast mobile subscribers higher growth scenario 2015; 2020; 2025
Table 15 Forecast mobile subscribers lower growth scenario 2015; 2020; 2025
Table 16 Asiacell financial data (including ARPU) 2006 - 2014
Table 17 Asiacell subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 18 Zain Iraq financial data 2006 2014
Table 19 Zain Iraq mobile subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 20 Korek Telecom subscribers 2011 - 2014
Table 21 Zain Iraq prepaid subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 22 Zain total daily data volume 2010 - 2014
Chart 1 Mobile operators' market share at a glance - 2014

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