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Syria - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


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Market growth despite recent setbacks

Like its inhabitants, Syrias telecom sector has been caught up in the ongoing civil war. Reports include instances of information warfare, proposed sanctions against telecom companies and damage to telecoms infrastructure. The deteriorating situation is having an impact on market development with regulatory developments delayed. However given the utility nature of telecoms, services are likely to be restored once fighting ceases.

Fixed-line services remain the monopoly of state-owned Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE), which has focused on expanding network coverage to cater to a growing subscriber base. Broadband subscriber levels are on the rise, with fixed broadband growth in the short to medium term assured given fixed broadband makes up approximately a quarter of all fixed Internet subscriptions. The growing appetite for data coincides with Syrias involvement with two relatively new terrestrial cables.

Recognising the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economic development, Syria has taken steps to develop a digital economy. E-government services are available, with a national e-government policy in place to guide developments. To support e-health development public funding has been made available for ICT equipment, software, pilot projects, skills training and scholarships. E-health initiatives also extend to the mobile sector (m-health), with m-health initiatives undertaken.

Syria’s mobile market is served by a duopoly comprised of two operators, MTN Syria and Syriatel. There has been talk of a third operator, with keen investors likely given mobile penetration in Syria is the second lowest in the Middle East. Mobile data services are becoming an increasingly important source of new revenue as the mobile voice market begins to mature. With 3G/HSPA networks in place, the focus for mobile data is beginning to shift to mobile broadband offerings; already mobile broadband subscriptions exceed those of fixed broadband.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012
Sector | 2010 | 2012

Subscribers to telecoms services (million):

Broadband | 0.2 | 0.60
Fixed-line telephony | 4.1 | 4.6
Mobile phone | 11.8 | 14.3
(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies covered in this report include:

Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE), Best Italia, Aya, EMAAR, General Organization of Radio and TV Syria (ORTAS), MTN Syria, Syriatel

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Iran’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;
Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
Internet;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (FttH, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;
Broadband subscriber forecasts to 2020;


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Syria’s telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Syria
4.4 Interconnect
5. Fixed network operator in Syria
5.1 Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE)
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.1.1 Network improvements
6.2 International infrastructure
7. Broadband access market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet and broadband statistics
7.2 Broadband subscriber forecasts
7.3 ISP market
7.4 Fibre to the Home (FttH)
7.5 Wireless broadband
8. Digital economy/digital media
8.1 Overview
8.2 E-government
8.3 E-health
9. Digital broadcasting
9.1 Overview of broadcasting market
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Syria’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Third mobile licence
10.2.2 Current BOT contracts
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 3G
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 Syriatel
10.4.2 MTN Syria
10.5 Mobile voice services
10.5.1 Prepaid
10.5.2 Satellite mobile
10.6 Mobile data
10.6.1 Mobile broadband
10.6.2 Mobile content and applications
11. Related reports
List of Tables and Charts
Table 1 – Country statistics Syria – 2011
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2012
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2012
Table 4 – Fixed broadband statistics – 2012
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2012
Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 – GDP growth and inflation – 2005 - 2011
Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2012
Table 9 – Internet user and penetration rate – 1999 - 2012
Table 10 – Fixed Internet subscribers and penetration rate – 1999 - 2012
Table 11 – Household PC penetration – 2002 - 2012
Table 12 – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2012
Table 13 – International Internet bandwidth – 2004 – 2011
Table 14 – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2012, 2015; 2020
Table 15 – Forecast broadband subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2012, 2015; 2020
Table 16 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1999 - 2012
Table 17 – Syriatel – Revenue by segment – 2008 - 2011
Table 18 – Syriatel – Net profit – 2005 - 2011
Table 19 – MTN Syria revenue – 2009 - 2011
Table 20 – MTN Syria operational data – 2003 - 2012
Table 21 – Active Mobile Broadband Subscriptions – 2009 - 2012
Chart 1 – Syria fixed-line and mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2012

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