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Syria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses


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Syria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Telecoms sector in Syria showing resilience despite challenging environment

The years of civil unrest in Syria have taken their toll on Syria's telecommunications infrastructure and while the capital Damascus has survived reasonably well, it is the outskirts, rural and remote areas which have felt the brunt of the destruction. The majority of the population (70%) live in poverty, according to reports, and employment is as high as 50%. It is the essential services which are often targeted by opposing forces in these volatile environments, with facilities such as hospitals, education institutes, power stations and telecommunications infrastructure being damaged or destroyed.

The operators themselves face additional issues surrounding security concerns, power outages, staff retention and access to diesel. Despite this challenging environment however, there are some glimpses of hope with both mobile operators reporting rising in revenue in 2015, with much of this attributed to growth in mobile data services. With 3G/HSDPA networks in place, the focus for mobile data has firmly shifted to mobile broadband offerings.

Overall the telecoms sector is growing in Syria, albeit slowly and in varying degrees depending on the geographic area. Generally speaking, Syria has a reasonably high mobile penetration of over 60%, with many Syrians owning cheap or second hand smart phones. Mobile broadband penetration coverage sits at 60-70%. Going forward, opportunities exist in the growing mobile broadband sector, especially once the civil unrest subsides. Fixed broadband is still an emerging area that will also benefit greatly once the country stabilises.

Key telecom parameters 2013; 2015
Sector | 2013 | 2015
Subscribers to telecoms services (million): (e)
Fixed Broadband users | 0.34 | 0.70
Fixed-line telephony | 4.42 | 4.08
Mobile phone | 12.29 | 13.90
(Source: BuddeComm based on ITU)

Key developments:

In early 2017 reports were surfacing that a third mobile operator would enter the Syrian mobile market based on a consortium from Iran.
MTN Syria has experienced recent declines in subscribers due to the challenging environment in Syria.
Both Syrtiatel and MTN Syria reported revenue growth in 2015 due primarily to mobile data growth.
In January 2015, both Syriatel and MTN Syria were awarded long-term freehold licences by the Syrian authorities, valid until December 2034. These replace the previous build, operate and transfer arrangement.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE), MTN Syria, Syriatel.


1. Executive Summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Historical overview
3.2 Market analysis
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Historic overview
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Syria
4.4 Interconnect
5. Fixed network operators in Syria
5.1 Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE)
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
7.2 International infrastructure
8. Broadband access market
8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
8.1.1 Market analysis
8.1.2 Broadband statistics
8.1.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
9. Digital economy
9.1 Introduction
9.2 e-Government
9.3 e-Health
9.4 e-Education
9.5 Social media
9.6 Broadcasting
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Market analysis
10.2 Mobile statistics
10.3 Mobile voice
10.3.1 Prepaid
10.4 Mobile data
10.4.1 SMS and MMS
10.5 Mobile broadband statistics
10.6 Regulatory issues
10.6.1 Third mobile licence
10.6.2 Current BOT contracts/Long term free hold licenses
10.7 Mobile infrastructure
10.7.1 GSM, 3G
10.7.2 Satellite mobile
11. Major mobile operators
11.1 Operators
11.1.1 Syriatel
11.1.2 MTN Syria
11.2 Mobile content and applications
11.2.1 m-banking (payments/loans)
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Syria
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2015
Table 3 Broadband statistics Syria - 2015
Table 4 Mobile statistics Syria - 2015
Table 5 National telecommunications authorities
Table 6 GDP growth and inflation 2005 2016
Table 7 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1995 - 2015
Table 8 Percentage of Internet users 2010 - 2015
Table 9 Fixed broadband subscribers 2004 - 2015
Table 10 International Internet bandwidth 2004 - 2015
Table 11 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1999 - 2016
Table 12 Active Mobile Broadband Subscriptions 2009 - 2015
Table 13 Syriatel Revenue 2008 - 2015
Table 14 MTN Syria Revenue and CAPEX 2009 - 2015
Table 15 MTN Syria Subscribers 2009 - 2016

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