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2008 Middle East - Telecoms, Mobile & Broadband in The Mediterranean & Levant countries


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

This annual report offers a wealth of information on trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media.
  • Researchers: Tine Lewis, Paul Kwon, Peter Lange


BuddeComm’s Middle East Annual Publication, ‘2008 Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in the Mediterranean and Levant countries of the Middle East’, profiles a fascinating region of contrasts and opportunities. Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Turkey have all benefited greatly from comparatively well developed regulatory systems and competitive markets resulting in strong investment in telecommunications. Syria remains steadfastly against liberalisation and competition and consequently has an undeveloped market. Lebanon is poised to choose which course it will take.

In Israel regulatory policies have produced intense competition with several very strong players and a very advanced and highly developed market where telecommunications and media are converging in a digital environment. Household broadband penetration is around 70%, mobile penetration is well over 100% and 3G penetration around 30%. These figures, together with Israel’s flourishing IT and venture capital sectors, indicate fertile ground for digital media developments.

Turkey has a unique position in the region with its links to the European Union. It has a healthy mobile market and growing broadband penetration.

Egypt and Jordan are not rich countries but sensible policies have resulted in relatively open and developed markets. Egypt has emerged as the largest Arab Internet market thanks to the successful implementation of a free Internet strategy. Jordan has mobile penetration of over 80%, probably inflated by non-Jordanian nationals and multi-SIM usage, but still indicative of a highly developed market.

Lebanon is a battle ground between groups that would stifle development in the manner of Syria and those that seek to liberalise the market and bring the benefits of mobile and broadband services to a larger proportion of the population.

While fixed-line, Internet and broadband penetration rates are low in the Arab countries of the region, one must always take into consideration larger household sizes, young populations and a habit of sharing broadband and cable TV subscription amongst neighbours.

Key highlights:

  • Number portability and new licences have shaken up the Israeli fixed-line market, with incumbent Bezeq’s share of the market falling to levels around 85% by mid-2008. The report of an advisory commission has recommended key regulatory changes, including creating a wholesale market in all sectors, unbundling local lines and licensing MVNOs.
  • The advisory commission has also advocated giving independent content providers a real chance to operate on broadcasting infrastructure. Israel has widespread DBS and cable multi-channel TV and IPTV is also operational.
  • Jordan’s thriving mobile market is likely to get even more competitive with the granting of its first MVNO operator licence in mid-2008.
  • A second Egyptian fixed-line licence is planned for 2008, together with the expansion of broadband services and wireless networks.
  • The licensing and launch of a third network gave Egypt’s mobile market a significant boost to reach 43% penetration by March 2008, up from only 27% in early 2007.
  • Following the resolution of its political stalemate in mid-2008, the Lebanese government will decide whether to privatise and liberalise its fixed line and mobile operators. A string of potential buyers is ready to enliven the market and release its untapped potential. An independent regulator has made an impressive start.
  • Turkey’s communications market holds much potential given the size of its population, its growing economy and the alignment of its regulatory framework with that of the European Union.
Mobile penetration and annual growth in the Mediterranean and Levant countries of the Middle East - 2008
Country Penetration Annual Growth
Egypt 43% 58%
Israel 125% 7%
Jordan 80% 20%
Lebanon 30% 10%
Syria 33% 38%
Turkey 85% 19%
(Source: BuddeComm)

For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on this region, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry in all countries, including proposed policy changes to further liberalise the Israeli market, the tender process for Egypt’s second fixed-line licence and the proposals for the liberalisation of the Lebanese market;
  • Telecoms operators - acquisitions, competition and new market entrants - France Telecom, Vodafone and the UAE’s Etisalat compete with incumbents and many strong local companies;
  • Internet and broadband development and government policies accelerating or impeding the potential for growth;
  • The fast growing mobile markets of the region, still with much potential in high population Egypt and the repressed market of Lebanon;
  • Mobile application and content development potential in Israel’s sizeable 3G market.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Egypt
1.1 Key statistics
1.2 Telecommunications market
1.2.1 Overview of Egypt’s telecom market
1.3 Regulatory environment
1.3.1 Background
1.3.2 Creation of a new regulatory framework
1.3.3 Telecommunications Master Plan
1.3.4 Legislative reform
1.3.5 Regulatory authority
1.3.6 Telecom sector liberalisation in Egypt
1.3.7 Privatisation of Telecom Egypt
1.3.8 Interconnection
1.4 Fixed network operators in Egypt
1.4.1 Telecom Egypt
1.4.2 Orascom Telecom
1.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
1.5.1 National telecom network
1.5.2 International infrastructure
1.6 Fixed voice market
1.6.1 National and international call traffic
1.7 Data market
1.7.1 Data service operators
1.7.2 VSAT networks
1.7.3 Data centres
1.8 Internet market
1.8.1 Overview
1.8.2 Internet gateways
1.8.3 Cairo Regional Internet Exchange (CRIX)
1.8.4 Internet access locations
1.8.5 Egypt’s ISP Market
1.9 Broadband Market
1.9.1 Broadband initiative
1.9.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
1.9.3 Wireless broadband
1.9.4 Broadband via satellite
1.9.5 Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)
1.10 Convergence
1.10.1 VoIP telephony
1.10.2 Next Generation Networks (NGN)
1.10.3 IPTV
1.10.4 E-Commerce
1.10.5 Information Highway Project
1.10.6 E-Government
1.10.7 E-Learning
1.11 Mobile communications
1.11.1 Overview of Egypt’s mobile market
1.11.2 Regulatory issues
1.11.3 Mobile technologies
1.11.4 Major mobile operators
1.11.5 Mobile voice services
1.11.6 Mobile data services
1.11.7 Mobile content and applications
1.12 Forecasts
1.12.1 Forecasts fixed line market to 2015
1.12.2 Forecasts - broadband and Internet services to 2015
1.12.3 Forecasts - mobile market to 2015
2. Israel
2.1 Key statistics
2.2 Telecommunications market
2.2.1 Overview of Israel’s telecom market
2.2.2 Market analysis - 2008
2.3 Regulatory environment
2.3.1 Regulatory authority
2.3.2 Privatisation of Bezeq
2.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Israel
2.3.4 Interconnect
2.3.5 Number Portability (NP)
2.3.6 Universal Service Obligation (USO)
2.4 Fixed network operators in Israel
2.4.1 Overview of operators
2.4.2 Bezeq
2.4.3 Bezeq International
2.4.4 HOT Cable Systems Media
2.4.5 NetVision 013 Barak
2.4.6 012 Smile.Communications (Internet Gold Golden Lines) / Eurocom
2.4.7 Xfone 018
2.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
2.5.1 National telecom network
2.5.2 International infrastructure
2.5.3 Infrastructure developments
2.6 Wholesaling
2.6.1 Overview
2.7 Broadband and Internet market
2.7.1 Overview
2.7.2 ADSL and cable networks
2.7.3 Israel’s ISP market
2.7.4 WiFi
2.7.5 WiMAX
2.8 Convergence
2.8.1 Overview of media convergence
2.8.2 Triple play models
2.8.3 VoIP / VoB
2.8.4 Overview of broadcasting market
2.8.5 Regulatory issues
2.9 Digital media
2.9.1 Digital TV
2.9.2 Internet content
2.10 Mobile communications
2.10.1 Overview of Israel’s mobile market
2.10.2 Regulatory issues
2.10.3 Mobile technologies
2.10.4 Major mobile operators
2.10.5 Mobile voice services
2.10.6 Mobile data services
2.10.7 Mobile content and applications
3. Jordan
3.1 Key statistics
3.2 Telecommunications market
3.2.1 Overview of Jordan’s telecom market
3.3 Regulatory environment
3.3.1 Background
3.3.2 Regulatory authority
3.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Jordan
3.3.4 Privatisation
3.3.5 Interconnect
3.3.6 Carrier preselection
3.3.7 Local Loop Unbundling (LLU)
3.4 Fixed network operators in Jordan
3.4.1 Jordan Telecom Group
3.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
3.5.1 National telecom network
3.5.2 International infrastructure
3.6 Wholesaling
3.6.1 Access
3.6.2 JTG’s pricing structure
3.7 Broadband and Internet market
3.7.1 Overview
3.7.2 ISP market
3.7.3 Broadband market overview
3.8 Convergence
3.8.1 Overview of media convergence
3.8.2 VoIP
3.8.3 Overview of broadcasting market
3.9 Mobile communications
3.9.1 Overview of Jordan’s mobile market
3.9.2 Regulatory issues
3.9.3 Mobile technologies
3.9.4 Major mobile operators
3.9.5 Mobile voice services
3.9.6 Mobile data services
3.9.7 Mobile content and applications
4. Lebanon
4.1 Key statistics
4.2 Telecommunications market
4.2.1 Overview of Lebanon’s telecom market
4.3 Regulatory environment
4.3.1 Background
4.3.2 Regulatory authority
4.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Lebanon
4.3.4 Privatisation
4.3.5 Interconnect
4.4 Fixed network operator in Lebanon
4.4.1 Ogero Telecom
4.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
4.5.1 National telecom network
4.5.2 International infrastructure
4.6 Broadband and Internet market
4.6.1 Overview
4.6.2 Data service providers
4.6.3 ISP market
4.6.4 Broadband market overview
4.6.5 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
4.6.6 Cable modems
4.6.7 Wireless broadband
4.7 Convergence
4.7.1 Overview of media convergence
4.7.2 Triple play
4.7.3 VoIP
4.7.4 Overview of broadcasting market
4.7.5 Digital TV
4.8 Mobile communications
4.8.1 Overview of Lebanon’s mobile market
4.8.2 Regulatory issues
4.8.3 Major mobile operators
4.8.4 Mobile voice services
4.8.5 Mobile data services
5. Syria
5.1 Key statistics
5.2 Telecommunications market
5.2.1 Overview of Syria’s telecom market
5.3 Regulatory environment
5.3.1 Background
5.3.2 Regulatory authority
5.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Syria
5.3.4 Interconnect
5.4 Fixed network operator in Syria
5.4.1 Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE)
5.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
5.5.1 National telecom network
5.5.2 International infrastructure
5.6 Broadband and Internet market
5.6.1 Overview
5.6.2 ISP market
5.6.3 Broadband market overview
5.7 Convergence
5.7.1 Overview of media convergence
5.7.2 Overview of broadcasting market
5.8 Mobile communications
5.8.1 Overview of Syria’s mobile market
5.8.2 Regulatory issues
5.8.3 Mobile technologies
5.8.4 Major mobile operators
5.8.5 Mobile voice services
5.8.6 Mobile data services
6. Turkey
6.1 Key statistics
6.2 Telecommunications market
6.2.1 Overview of Turkey’s telecom market
6.3 Regulatory environment
6.3.1 Background
6.3.2 Regulatory authority
6.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Turkey
6.3.4 Privatisation
6.3.5 Interconnect
6.3.6 Access
6.3.7 Number portability
6.3.8 Universal services
6.3.9 Electronic Signature Act
6.4 Fixed network operators in Turkey
6.4.1 Turk Telekom
6.4.2 Turksat
6.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
6.5.1 National telecom network
6.5.2 International infrastructure
6.6 Internet market
6.6.1 Overview
6.6.2 Turkey’s ISP market
6.7 Broadband market
6.7.1 Overview
6.7.2 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Lines (ADSL)
6.7.3 Cable modems
6.7.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
6.7.5 Wireless broadband
6.8 Convergence
6.8.1 Overview of media convergence
6.8.2 Triple play models
6.8.3 Overview of broadcasting market
6.8.4 Broadcasting regulation
6.8.5 Digital TV
6.9 Mobile communications
6.9.1 Overview of Turkey’s mobile market
6.9.2 Regulatory issues
6.9.3 Major mobile operators
6.9.4 Mobile voice services
6.9.5 Mobile data services
6.9.6 Mobile content and applications
6.10 Forecasts
6.10.1 Forecasts - Internet services to 2017
7. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables
Table 1 - Country statistics Egypt - 2008
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - February 2008
Table 3 - Internet provider statistics - 2008
Table 4 - Internet user statistics - February 2008
Table 5 - Broadband statistics - February 2008
Table 6 - Mobile statistics - March 2008
Table 7 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 8 - Telecom Egypt key performance indicators - 2003 - 2007
Table 9 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2008
Table 10 - Public payphones per operator - 2002 - 2008
Table 11 - Internet users and penetration - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2008
Table 12 - DSL subscribers in Egypt - 2002 - 2008
Table 13 - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration - 1996; 1998; 2000 - 2008
Table 14 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2008
Table 15 - MobiNil subscribers - 1998; 2000 - 2008
Table 16 - MobiNil key performance indicators - 2002 - 2007
Table 17 - MobiNil blended monthly ARPU and AUPU - 2002 - 2007
Table 18 - Vodafone Egypt subscribers - 1998; 2000 - 2008
Table 19 - Vodafone Egypt blended monthly ARPU - 2003 - 2007
Table 26 - Country statistics Israel - 2008
Table 27 - Telephone network statistics - 2007
Table 28 - Internet user statistics - 2007
Table 29 - Broadband statistics - 2007
Table 30 - Mobile statistics - March 2008
Table 31 - National telecommunications authority
Table 32 - International call operators market shares - 2007
Table 33 - Bezeq divisional revenues - 2005 - 2008
Table 34 - Active Bezeq fixed-line subscriber lines, MOU, monthly ARPL - 2003 - 2008
Table 35 - Bezeq International outgoing calls market share - 2005 - 2007
Table 36 - HOT divisional revenue - 2006 - 2007
Table 37 - HOT domestic telephony subscribers - 2005 - 2007
Table 38 - NetVision 013 Barak Revenue and Profit - 2006 - 2008
Table 39 - 012 Smile Communications revenue and profit - 2005 - 2008
Table 40 - Xfone revenue and profit - 2006 - 2008
Table 41 - Fixed-lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2007
Table 42 - Broadband subscribers, annual change and household penetration - 2001 - 2007
Table 43 - Internet users, penetration and household penetration estimates - 1997 - 2007
Table 44 - ADSL and cable networks - subscribers, annual change and market share - 2005 - 2008
Table 45 - Bezeq ADSL subscriber ARPU - 2005 - 2008
Table 46 - ISP market shares - 2005 - 2007
Table 47 - NetVision broadband subscribers - 2006 - 2007
Table 48 - 012 Smile VoIP lines - 2006 - 2008
Table 49 - Broadcasting market statistical overview - 2007
Table 50 - YES satellite TV subscribers, market share and ARPU - 2002 - 2008
Table 51 - Walla Communications revenue and profit - 2005 - 2007
Table 52 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1995 - 2008
Table 53 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - December 2007
Table 54 - Mobile operators - total subscribers, 3G subscribers and market share - March 2008
Table 55 - Mobile operators - MOU and ARPU - March 2008
Table 56 - Pelephone: revenue, profit, monthly MOU and monthly ARPU - 2003 - 2008
Table 57 - Cellcom - revenue, profit, monthly MOU, churn, and monthly ARPU - 2005 - 2008
Table 58 - Partner Communications - revenue, profit, monthly MOU, churn, monthly ARPU - 2002 - 2008
Table 59 - Partner - prepaid, postpaid and business subscribers - 2004 - 2008
Table 60 - Mobile operators - data and content revenue as a percentage of total revenue - 2003 - 2008
Table 61 - Country statistics Jordan - 2008
Table 62 - Telephone network statistics - 2007
Table 63 - Internet user statistics - 2007
Table 64 - Broadband statistics - March 2008
Table 65 - Mobile statistics - 2007
Table 66 - National telecommunications authority
Table 67 - Jordan Telecom Group profit and revenue by sector - 2004 - 2007
Table 68 - Jordan Telecom Group divisional subscribers - 2005 - 2007
Table 69 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2007
Table 70 - Internet users and penetration estimates - 1995 - 2007
Table 71 - Internet subscribers and penetration - 1999 - 2007
Table 72 - DSL subscribers - 2001 - 2008
Table 73 - TV market - receivers and households - 1999 - 2007
Table 74 - JRTVC revenue - 2005 - 2007
Table 75 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1995 - 2007
Table 76 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - December 2007
Table 77 - Zain Jordan ARPU - 2005 - 2007
Table 78 - Orange prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2002 - 2006
Table 79 - Zain Jordan prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2005 - 2007
Table 80 - Country statistics Lebanon - 2008
Table 81 - Telephone network statistics - June 2007
Table 82 - Internet user statistics - 2007
Table 83 - Broadband statistics - June 2007
Table 84 - Mobile statistics - 2007
Table 85 - National telecommunications authority
Table 86 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1996 - 2007
Table 87 - Internet user and penetration estimates - 1995 - 2007
Table 88 - Internet subscribers - 2001 - 2007
Table 89 - Cable modem Internet subscribers - 2002 - 2006
Table 90 - TV equipped households - 1996 - 2006
Table 91 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1995 - 2007
Table 92 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - December 2007
Table 93 - Zain prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2005 - 2007
Table 94 - Country statistics Syria - 2008
Table 95 - Telephone network statistics - 2007
Table 96 - Internet user statistics - 2007
Table 97 - Broadband statistics - 2007
Table 98 - Mobile statistics - 2007
Table 99 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 100 - STE Revenue by sector - 2005 - 2007
Table 101 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2007
Table 102 - Internet user and penetration estimates - 1999 - 2007
Table 103 - Internet subscribers and penetration - 1999 - 2007
Table 104 - Broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2007
Table 105 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1999 - 2007
Table 106 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - December 2007
Table 107 - MTN Syria: ARPU - 2003 - 2008; outgoing MOU - 2006 - 2007
Table 108 - Country statistics Turkey - 2008
Table 109 - Telephone network statistics - 2007
Table 110 - Internet user statistics - 2007
Table 111 - Broadband subscriber statistics - September 2007
Table 112 - Mobile statistics - December 2007
Table 113 - National telecommunications authority
Table 114 - Unbundled loops and access lines - 2006 - 2007
Table 115 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2007
Table 116 - Internet users and penetration - 1996 - 2007
Table 117 - Internet subscribers and penetration - 2002 - 2007
Table 118 - Broadband subscribers by access technology used and annual change - Sep 2007
Table 119 - Broadband subscribers and penetration - 2001 - 2007
Table 120 - ADSL subscribers - 2002 - 2007
Table 121 - Advertising spending and annual growth by media segment - 2007
Table 122 - Audience share by channel - 2006 - 2007
Table 123 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - December 2007
Table 124 - Mobile subscribers - 1995 - 2007
Table 125 - Consumer’s attitudes to fixed-mobile substitution - 2006
Table 126 - Turkcell financial statistics - 2005 - 2007
Table 127 - Turkcell average monthly ARPU - prepaid and postpaid - 2001 - 2007
Table 128 - Turkcell average monthly MOU and churn - 2001 - 2007
Table 129 - Vodafone quarterly prepaid, postpaid & total ARPU - 2006 - 2007
Table 130 - Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers - 2000 - 2007
Table 131 - Turkcell prepaid subscribers - 2001 - 2007
Table 132 - Vodafone prepaid subscribers - 2006 - 2007
Table 133 - Effects of mobile spam on users - 2005 - 2006
Table 134 - Forecast broadband subscriber growth - higher market growth scenario - 2008 - 2012; 2017
Table 135 - Forecast broadband subscriber growth - lower market growth scenario - 2008 - 2012; 2017
List of Exhibits
Exhibit 1 - Major licences issued - 2008
Exhibit 2 - National and regional fibre networks
Exhibit 3 - Data service provider licences in Egypt with year of issue
Exhibit 4 - An analysis of Egypt’s third mobile licence valuation
Exhibit 5 - Vodafone Egypt lists on Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange

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