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Libya - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

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

International investors prepare to enter post-war Libyas telecom market

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Libya’s telecommunications market.

Subjects covered include:

The market with the highest mobile penetration in Africa;
Key statistics;
Market and industry overviews;
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
Telecoms operators – privatisation, joint ventures, new licences;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Infrastructure development, including fibre/FttH;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Internet and broadband development and pricing;
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);
Broadband pricing trends, fixed and wireless;
Mobile data services, including 3G broadband.

Libyas civil war in 2011 has crippled the countrys economy and disrupted its telecommunications sector. It is estimated that more than US$1 billion worth of telecom infrastructure has been destroyed, including about 20% of the countrys cell sites. Reconstruction efforts are underway, and at an estimated 76% GDP growth, the countrys economic output is expected to return to pre-war levels in 2012.

Several international telecom carriers are preparing to enter the Libyan market following the elections in July 2012. In addition, an initial public offering (IPO) of the countrys two mobile network operators is planned for 2013, and new operator licences may also be issued.

Despite having an old style state-owned monopoly player for the provision of postal and telecommunications services (LPTIC, GPTC), which also operates the country’s only Internet service (LTT) and two mobile networks in parallel, Libya’s telecommunications infrastructure is superior to those in most other African countries and services are available at some of the lowest prices on the continent.

Libya’s fixed-line teledensity is one of the highest in Africa, supported by extensive rollouts of CDMA-2000 wireless local loop technology (WLL) technology since 2006.

The mobile sub-sector remained underdeveloped with Al-Madar as the sole operator until the introduction of Libyana as the 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. In 2008 Libya became the first country in continental Africa to break the 100% mobile penetration barrier. Both networks are government owned but distinguish themselves with different service offerings and pricing.

The mobile networks are also participating in the Internet and broadband sector with mobile data services and third generation (3G/HSDPA) mobile broadband services.

Massive investments have been made by the former government into a next generation national fibre optic backbone network, the expansion of ADSL and WiMAX broadband services, new international fibre connections and upgrades to existing ones, and one of Africa’s first Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) deployments. The first terabit international fibre optic cable landed in the country in 2010. Investments into telecommunications infrastructure totalling US$10 billion were earmarked for the 15 years to 2020.

Market highlights:

Fast economic recovery following the end of the civil war;
International investors prepare to enter the telecoms market;
New operator licences may be issued.

Estimated market penetration rates in Libya’s telecoms sector – end 2012
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile (SIM cards) | 265%
Fixed | 20%
Internet | 17%

(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Companies covered in this report:

Al-Madar (El-Madar)
Libya Post and Telecommunication Information Technology (LPTIC)
General Posts and Telecommunications Company (GPTC)
Libya Telecom & Technology (LTT)
LapGreen Networks

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Market analysis 2012
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Regulatory authorities
4.1.1 General Telecommunication Authority (GTA)
4.2 Telecom sector liberalisation in Libya
4.2.1 Second national operator (SNO) licence
5. Fixed network operator in Libya
5.2 Fixed-line statistics
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 Fixed-line network
6.2 CDMA-2000 WLL
6.3 National fibre backbone
6.4 Next Generation Network (NGN)
6.5 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
6.6 International infrastructure
6.6.1 International submarine fibre
6.6.2 Satellite
6.6.3 LapGreen Networks
7. Internet market
7.1 Overview
7.2 Internet statistics
7.3 Computer initiatives – One Laptop per Child (OLPC)
7.4 Libya’s ISP market
7.4.1 Libya Telecom & Technology (LTT)
8. Broadband market
8.1 Broadband statistics
8.2 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.3 WiMAX
8.4 WiFi
8.5 Satellite broadband
8.6 FttH
9. Convergence
9.1 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Libya’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Major mobile operators
10.2.1 Al-Madar (El-Madar)
10.2.2 Libyana
10.3 Mobile data services
10.3.1 SMS
10.3.2 MMS
10.3.3 GPRS/EDGE
10.4 3G/HSDPA
10.5 Mobile TV
10.6 Satellite mobile
11. Related reports
List of Tabels, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – Country statistics Libya – 2012
Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2012
Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2012
Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2012
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2012
Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2012
Table 8 – Internet users and penetration rate – 1999 - 2012
Table 9 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 - 2012
Table 10 – Libyana 3G/HSDPA broadband pricing – 2010 - 2012
Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 - 2012
Exhibit 1 – Map of Libya
Exhibit 2 – An overview of the One Laptop per Child project

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