Communications continues to be one of Iraq’s big success stories
Iraq’s telecoms sector has emerged as one of the country’s most dynamic economic sectors, as evident by the strong take up of services. Since the war rebuilding efforts focused on rapidly improving network access, resulting in a number of wireless local loop and mobile licences issued. Growth opportunities are evident in the fixed market, given that the fixed line penetration rate is steadily increasing but is less than 6%. In addition the incumbent Iraqi Telephone and Postal Company (ITPC) and competing operators have invested in core and transmission network infrastructure to expand bandwidth and to support the ability to offer new products and services.
Broadband Internet subscribers are growing steadily but from a very small base, with services available via ADSL, satellite, WiMAX, CDMA and GSM platforms. Internet cafes are a popular Internet access method given low PC ownership. However the most exciting prospect for this market is the current deployment of FttX networks with total connections equating to over 50% of households. Such widespread access to fast broadband networks will enable end users to easily access the Internet and Iraq’s nascent digital economy, comprised of e-education, e-health and e-government services.
Mobile services have been the big success story of telecoms in post-war Iraq. The market has grown very quickly, partly due to the lack of fixed-line service. Competition is healthy with three mobile network operators, Asiacell, Zain and Korek Telecom, offering services. Foreign investors include regional mobile players Qtel of Qatar and Zain of Kuwait and global telco player France Telecom. Continued healthy growth prospects for Iraq’s mobile market led Qtel to double its ownership stake in June 2012 to 60%. Iraq’s mobile data market is also in the nascent stages of development, with mobile messaging and mobile Internet access offered. The latter has the potential to develop into a significant market once 3G/4G is made available given the lack of strong competition in the fixed broadband market and low PC penetration.
Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012
Sector | 2010 | 2012
Subscribers to telecoms services (million):
Fixed Broadband | 0.08 | 0.15
Fixed-line telephony | 1.72 | 1.83
Mobile phone | 20.1 | 27.2
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
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.
Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Digital economy and digital media;
Mobile subscriber forecasts to 2020;