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Libya - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

Libya - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

Islamic militias in Libya undermine investor confidence

Libya's civil war crippled the countrys economy and disrupted its telecommunications sector. It is estimated that more than S1 billion worth of telecom infrastructure was destroyed, including about 20% of the countrys cell sites. Reconstruction efforts are underway and GDP growth jumped to more than 100% in 2012, but the country fell into another recession in 2013 and 2014 when the civil unrest intensified again.

Under the Gaddafi regime, virtually the entire telecom and internet sector was in government hands, with the unique situation of three government-owned mobile networks supposed to compete with each other. One of these networks will be privatised through an IPO in 2014, and a tender for the country's first ever private mobile network operator licence will be issued. A new Telecommunications Law has been drafted and the government is in the process of establishing an independent regulatory authority. Since the downfall of the old regime, 25 ISPs have already been licensed to compete with the government-owned former monopoly, as well as 23 VSAT operators.

Despite the destruction, Libya's telecommunications infrastructure is superior to those in most other African countries. Massive investments had been made by the former government into a next-generation national fibre optic backbone network, the expansion of DSL and WiMAX broadband services, new international fibre connections and upgrades to existing ones, and one of Africa's first Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) deployments. The first terabit international fibre optic cable landed in the country in 2010, followed by a second one in 2013. Investments into telecommunications infrastructure totalling S10 billion were earmarked for the 15 years to 2020.

With one of the highest market penetration rates in Africa, the mobile voice market is approaching saturation, supported by some of the lowest tariffs on the continent and one of the highest per capita GDP levels. Opportunities remain in the broadband sector where market penetration is still relatively low. So far only one of the mobile networks has launched third-generation (3G) broadband services. Fixed-line penetration has fallen significantly as a result of the war but is also expected to see a renaissance, including fibre, as the demand for very high-speed broadband increases.

Key developments:

Militia activity damaging telecom infrastructure; government approaches ITU to help it develop regulatory framework to rebuild telecom infrastructure; alternative Islamist government declared, edging Libya into further unrest; Ericsson and NSN contracted to deploy a national mobile broadband network; first private mobile licence to be awarded; IPO of the leading mobile network planned; economic recovery in danger due to continued civil unrest; Alcatel-Lucent signs contract with LITC to build a 1,000km subsea cable system linking Tripoli to Benghazi; recent market developments.

Estimated market penetration rates in Libya's telecoms sector 2014 (e)
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile (SIM cards) | 120%
Fixed | 11%
Internet | 30%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Companies mentioned in this report:

Al-Madar, Libyana, LibyaPhone, Libya Post and Telecommunication Information Technology (LPTIC), General Posts and Telecommunications Company (GPTC), Hatif Libya, Libya International Telecom Company (LITC), Libya Telecom & Technology (LTT), LAP Green Networks, Gateway, Thuraya, Phoenicia Group, Hermes Communications, Wiseband, Bentley Walker, Virtual Dimensions, Ericsson, Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Trans-Sahara.

Publication overview:

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Libya'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 developments;
Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
Convergence and Digital Media;
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and industry issues;
Telecoms operators privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE).


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Market analysis
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
4.2.2 New mobile licence
5. Fixed network operators in Libya
5.1 LPTIC/GPTC/Hatif 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-Premises (FttP)
6.6 International infrastructure
6.6.1 International submarine fibre
6.6.2 Satellite
6.6.3 LAP Green 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)
7.4.2 Trans-Sahara
7.5 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
8. Broadband market
8.1 Broadband statistics
8.2 ADSL
8.3 WiMAX
8.4 WiFi
8.5 Satellite broadband
8.6 FttP
9. Mobile communications
9.1 Overview of Libya's mobile market
9.1.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Major mobile operators
9.2.1 Al-Madar
9.2.2 Libyana
9.3 LibyaPhone
9.4 Management contracts
9.5 Mobile data services
9.5.1 SMS
9.5.2 MMS
9.5.3 GPRS/EDGE
9.6 3G/HSPA
9.7 LTE
9.8 Mobile TV
9.9 Satellite mobile
10. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Libya 2014
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2014 (e)
Table 3 Internet and social media user statistics 2014 (e)
Table 4 Internet provider statistics 2014
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2014 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Libya 1999 - 2014
Table 8 International bandwidth in Libya 1999 - 2013
Table 9 Internet users and penetration rate in Libya 1999 - 2015
Table 10 ADSL broadband subscribers in Libya 2006 - 2015
Table 11 LibyaADSL pricing 2008 2013; 2015
Table 12 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Libya 1999 - 2015
Chart 1 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Exhibit 1 Map of Libya
Exhibit 2 An overview of the One Laptop per Child project

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