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Tunisia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband


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Tunisia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Third 3G mobile broadband service launched

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Tunisia's telecommunications market.

Subjects covered include:



One of Africa's most advanced telecoms and broadband markets;
Key statistics;
Market and industry overviews;
The impact of the global economic crisis and the Arab Spring revolution;
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
Telecoms operators privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Infrastructure development;
Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;
Average Revenue per User;
Internet and broadband development, including 3G mobile;
E-government and e-commerce;
Internet censorship;
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).

Tunisia has developed a diverse, market-oriented economy which escaped the global economic crisis virtually unscathed, but the events of the Arab Spring drove the country into a mild recession in 2011. However, GDP growth is expected to climb steadily over the coming years to reach 6% in 2015.

As a result of heavy investments in the telecom sector since the mid-1990s, Tunisia has one of the most developed telecommunications infrastructures in Northern Africa and sports some of the continent's highest market penetration rates.

Offering a full range of services, Tunisie Telecom is the country's fixed-line incumbent. The company was partly privatised in 2006 when a 35% stake was sold to Dubai-based Tecom and DIG. It also operates a mobile network under the name Tunicell.

The mobile sector has experienced exceptional growth since the introduction of a second GSM network in 2002, operated under the name Tunisiana first by Egypt's Orascom and now by Kuwait's Wataniya in which Qatar Telecom (Q-Tel) holds a majority stake.

Competition between eleven ISPs, supported by a nationwide fibre optic backbone network and international access via submarine and terrestrial fibre, has led to one of the most developed Internet markets in the region and some of the lowest broadband prices in Africa. The former government encouraged and promoted Internet use but at the same time kept tight control by restricting access to certain websites. Laws supporting e-commerce and digital signatures have been passed, which has led to one of the most active e-government and e-commerce sectors in Africa.

France Telecom-owned Orange entered the market as the second fixed-line and third mobile operator in 2010 and launched Tunisia's first commercial 3G mobile service. Tunicell followed in August 2011, Tunisiana in July 2012. HSPA+ services with up to 42Mb/s using dual carrier technology are now available. This is expected to deliver a further boost to the Internet and broadband market by taking broadband Internet access to a much wider part of the population, considering that the country's mobile networks reach close to 100% of the population while Tunisie Telecom's fixed-line network reaches only about one-third of households.

Market highlights:

Third 3G mobile broadband service launched;
HSPA+ service with up to 42Mb/s is available;
3G mobile broadband pricing competes with ADSL;
Tunisia again ranked first in Africa for Network Readiness by Davos Economic Forum.

Market penetration rates in Tunisia's telecoms sector March 2012
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 117%
Fixed | 11%
Internet | 41
% (Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Companies covered in this report:

Tunisie Telecom (Tunicell), Orange (France Telecom), Tunisiana (Orascom, Wataniya, Qatar Telecom/Q-Tel), Planet Tunisie, 3S GlobalNet, HexaByte, Tunet, Topnet, Divona Telecom, Thuraya, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson.


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Davos World Economic Forum ranking 2008-2012
3.2 Market analysis 2012
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Telecommunications Act 2001
4.2.1 2008 amendments
4.3 Regulatory authorities
4.3.1 INT
4.3.2 ONT
4.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Tunisia
5. Fixed network operators in Tunisia
5.1 Tunisie Telecom (TT)
5.1.1 Privatisation
5.1.2 Fixed-line statistics
5.1.3 National telecom network
5.2 Orange Tunisie
6. International infrastructure
6.1 Submarine fibre
6.2 Terrestrial
6.3 Satellite
7. Data market
7.1 VSAT
8. Internet market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Internet statistics
8.2 PC market and penetration
8.3 Public Internet access locations
8.4 Agence Tunisienne d'Internet (ATI)
8.5 Internet censorship in Tunisia
8.6 Tunisia's ISP market
8.6.1 Public sector ISPs
8.6.2 Private sector ISPs
9. Broadband market
9.1 Overview
9.2 ADSL
9.3 WiMAX
9.4 DSL by satellite
10. Digital Economy
10.1 VoIP
10.2 E-commerce
10.3 E-learning
10.4 E-government
11. Mobile communications
11.1 Overview of Tunisia's mobile market
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.2 Major mobile operators
11.2.1 Tunicell (Tunisie Telecom)
11.2.2 Tunisiana
11.2.3 Orange Tunisie
11.3 Mobile data services
11.3.1 SMS
11.3.2 MMS
11.3.3 GPRS, EDGE, WAP
11.4 Third Generation (3G)
11.5 Mobile TV
11.6 Satellite mobile
11.7 GSM-R
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Tunisia 2012
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2012
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2012
Table 4 Internet statistics 2012
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2012
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1995 - 2012
Table 8 Data service subscribers by technology 2001 - 2012
Table 9 Tunisia's International Internet bandwidth 2001; 2006 - 2012
Table 10 Internet subscribers, users and penetration rate 1999 - 2012
Table 11 PC penetration in Tunisia 1999 - 2012
Table 12 ADSL subscribers vs total Internet subscribers 2002 - 2012
Table 13 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1995 - 2012
Table 14 Tunisiana subscribers and blended monthly ARPU 2002 - 2011
Chart 1 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2002 - 2012
Exhibit 1 Map of Tunisia

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