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Iraq - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


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

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
(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
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 to 2020;


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 Hi Link Telecom
5.2.6 Omnnea
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
7.1.2 Fibre to the Home (FttH)
7.2 Wireless broadband
7.2.1 CDMA
7.2.2 WiMAX
7.2.3 Internet via satellite
8. Digital economy/digital media
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 e-education
8.1.2 e-health
8.1.3 e-government
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
10.5 Major mobile operators
10.5.1 Asiacell Communications
10.5.2 Zain Iraq (formerly MTC Atheer)
10.5.3 Korek Telecom
10.5.4 Orascom Telecom Iraq Corporation/Iraqna
10.5.5 Sanatel
10.6 Mobile voice services
10.6.1 Prepaid
10.6.2 Satellite mobile
10.7 Mobile data
10.7.1 Mobile Messaaging
10.7.2 Mobile Internet access
10.8 Mobile content and applications
10.8.1 Mobile TV
11. Related reports
List of Tables and Charts
Table 1 – Country statistics Iraq – 2012
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2012
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2012
Table 4 – Mobile statistics – 2012
Table 5 – National telecommunications authorities
Table 6 – GDP growth and inflation – 2005 - 2013
Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1990 - 2012
Table 8 – Internet user penetration and estimates – 2001 – 2012
Table 9 – Fixed broadband subscribers and estimates – 2006 - 2012
Table 10 – International Internet bandwidth – 2002 - 2011
Table 11 – Household PC penetration – 2008 – 2012
Table 12 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2003 - 2012
Table 13 – Mobile operator market shares – 2004 - 2012
Table 14 – Major mobile operators ARPU – 2004 - 2012
Table 15 – Forecast mobile penetration in Iraq – higher growth scenario – 2015; 2020
Table 16 – Forecast mobile penetration in Iraq – lower growth scenario – 2015; 2020
Table 17 – Asiacell financial data – 2006 - 2012
Table 18 – Asiacell subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 19 – Asiacell ARPU – 2012
Table 20 – Zain Iraq: Revenue, net income and subscribers – 2006 – 2012
Table 21 – Zain Iraq – Active Subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 22 – Korek Telecom Subscribers – 2011 - 2012
Table 23 – Zain Iraq prepaid subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Chart 1 – Iraq fixed-line and mobile subscribers – 2003 - 2012

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