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Libya - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Libya - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Islamic militias in Libya undermine investor confidence

Libya's civil war has crippled the country's economy and disrupted its telecommunications sector. Considerable telecom infrastructure has been destroyed or stolen, including about a quarter of the country's mobile tower sites. Reconstruction efforts continue to be stymied by political and military disturbances which affect much of the country, while with two opposing administrations, in Tripoli and Tobruk, there is no consensus as to how to rebuild infrastructure on a national scale despite attempts to reach a political solution in December 2015.

As a result of these difficulties, and heightened insecurity, prices for internet connections and SIM cards have increased dramatically, while telecom services have been regularly disrupted, particularly in the eastern region of the country. Benghazi was cut off from all telecom networks for a number of months in 2015.

In early 2015 the state telco (along with many other businesses) decamped to Malta, and since then both rival administrations have fought in the Maltese courts in an attempt to assume control of the company. The collapsing economy, which saw GDP fall dramatically in recent years and looks set to continue into 2017, has stymied the ability of telcos to invest in infrastructure, ,.

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, Libyana, was to have been privatised through an IPO in late 2014, though instead elements of the operator's mobile network were split off to create a separate operator serving the eastern part of the country.

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. There was considerable expansion of DSL and WiMAX broadband services, and new international fibre connections and upgrades made to existing ones. Libya also had 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 in 2013. Investments into telecommunications infrastructure totalling S10 billion were earmarked for the 15 years to 2020, though given the civil strife in recent years it is difficult to say how much of this will be put into effect.

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:

Hatif Libya ready to expand fixed wireless service in western areas of the country; LTE Committee chooses both Huawei and ZTE as vendors for the planned LTE rollout; militia activity continues to damage telecom infrastructure; government approaches ITU for help to develop telecom regulatory framework; Ericsson and Nokia Networks contracted to deploy a national mobile broadband network; Alcatel-Lucent signs contract with LITC to build a 1,000km subsea cable system linking Tripoli to Benghazi; report update includes recent market developments.

Market penetration rates in Libya's telecoms sector 2016 (e)
Penetration of telecoms services: | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 9%
Fixed broadband | 1%%
Mobile SIM (population) | 155%
(Source: BuddeComm)

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.

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Market analysis
5. Regulatory environment
5.1.1 General Telecommunication Authority (GTA)
5.2 Market liberalisation
5.3 Second national operator (SNO) licence
5.4 Mobile licence - 2011
5.5 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 LPTIC/GPTC/Hatif Libya
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 National fibre backbone
7.2 Next Generation Network (NGN)
7.3 International infrastructure
7.3.1 International submarine fibre
7.3.2 Satellite
7.3.3 LAP Green Networks
8. Fixed-line broadband market
8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
8.2 Market analysis
8.3 Broadband statistics
8.4 Fixed-line broadband technologies
8.4.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Networks
8.4.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
8.4.3 Other fixed broadband services
9. Mobile market
9.1 Market analysis
9.2 Mobile statisitcs
9.3 Mobile data
9.3.1 SMS and MMS
9.3.2 Mobile broadband
9.4 Mobile infrastructure
9.4.1 Digital networks
9.4.2 Other infrastructure developments
9.5 Major mobile operators
9.5.1 Al-Madar
9.5.2 Libyana
9.5.3 LibyaPhone
10. Mobile content and applications
10.1.1 Mobile TV
11. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Libya 2016 (e)
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2016 (e)
Table 3 Internet and social media user statistics 2016 (e)
Table 4 Internet provider statistics 2016
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2016 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1999 - 2009
Table 8 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010 - 2017
Table 9 International bandwidth 2001 - 2015
Table 10 Internet bandwidth per user 2002 - 2015
Table 11 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Libya 1999 - 2009
Table 12 Internet users and penetration rate in Libya 1999 - 2016
Table 13 Fixed broadband subscribers 2006 - 2017
Table 14 LibyaADSL pricing 2008 2013; 2015 - 2016
Table 15 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Libya 1999 - 2009
Table 16 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Libya 2010 - 2017
Table 17 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2013 - 2016
Table 18 Al-Madar mobile subscribers 2013 - 2015
Table 19 Libyana mobile subscribers 2013 - 2015
Chart 1 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 2017
Chart 2 Internet users and penetration rate in Libya 2005 2017
Chart 3 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2017
Exhibit 1 Map of Libya

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