Iraq - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Plans to auction a fourth mobile license in Iraq were again ignited when the Iraqi cabinet announced in mid-2018 that a committee has been appointed to manage the tender process along with assistance from an auditing firm. While efforts in the past to auction the fourth license were not successful; it is hoped that this time around the licensing process will be completed and further competition in the mobile market will be created.
Overall the political unrest in Iraq has battered the telecommunications sector and created a very challenging environment for the telecoms operators in recent years. In 2018-2019 however there have been signs of stability with the installation of thousands of new fibre-optic cables; restoration of some of the damaged mobile networks underway and growth in mobile broadband subscribers evident.
There is high international interest in the Iraqi market with its potential to recover economically pinned on its large oil and natural gas reserves. Iraq offers much potential for telecoms infrastructure development with many under-served areas requiring better coverage and/or reconstruction. There will also be opportunities in developing both 3G and 4G deployment, with early signs that mobile data revenues are already increasing on the back of existing 3G networks.
The three mobile network operators which hold national licences are Zain Iraq, Asiacell and Korek Telecom.
The parts of Iraq seized by rebel forces reportedly have very little mobile infrastructure left intact, with residents relying on satellite technology for communications.
The most popular mobile plans are pre-paid.
Operators have faced serious security concerns for both personnel, equipment and infrastructure due to the civil unrest.
Mobile broadband services took a recent step forward with a recent growth in mobile broadband subscriptions.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Iraqi Telephone and Postal Company (ITPC), Newroz Telecom, Asiacell, Zain Iraq, Korek Telecom, Regional Telecom, Communication and Media Commission (CMC), ScopeSky Communications.
Please note: Due to civil unrest in Iraq, current and detailed information on the telecoms sector can at times be difficult to obtain.
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