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Tunisia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Digital Tunisia 2020 plan encouraging investment in fibre and G.fast

Tunisia has one of the most sophisticated telecommunications and broadband infrastructures in North Africa. Penetration rates for mobile and internet services are s among the highest in the region. Stimulated by the Digital Tunisia 2020 program, a number of regulatory measures have been instituted aimed at improving internet connectivity to underserved areas. These in initiatives will also see the auction of spectrum in the 800MHz band for IoT and mobile services. For its part the incumbent telco Tunisie Telecom is investing to expand the reach and capabilities of its LTE network and build up a vectoring VDSL and fibre infrastructure. The company is also in the process of migrating internet traffic to its new Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) platform.

The events of the Arab Spring' revolution in 2011 drove the country into a brief recession, but GDP growth soon returned to pre-crisis levels. This encouraged growing confidence in economic recovery, though GDP growth has been modest, at only 1% in 2015 and 2016 and an estimated 2.5% for 2017. Political difficulties in recent years have also had an impact on the telecom sector, notably causing the delay in the planned sale of EIT's 35% interest in Tunisie Telecom. Despite this, the government is pressing on with plans to list its 65% stake in Tunisie Telecom on the Tunis stock exchange, in part to help the company raise funds to enable it to pursue its expansion plans. These plans saw the company acquire the Maltese quad-play operator GO in August 2016. The government has also considered plans to offload its interests in Orange Tunisia and Ooredoo Tunisia.

The mobile sector experienced exceptional growth following the introduction of a second GSM network in 2002, operated initially by Egypt's Orascom under the name Tunisiana and now by Qatar Telecom (Qtel) which rebranded it to Ooredoo. Orange Group entered the market as the third operator in 2010 and launched Tunisia's first commercial 3G mobile service, followed by Tunicell in 2011 and Tunisiana in 2012. HSPA+ services are also widely available. In March 2016 the regulator accepted bids from all three MNOs for LTE licenses. Extensive LTE trials were carried out in late 2015, and commercial launches were made in late 2016.

Ooredoo and Orange Tunisie are also licensed as fixed-line operators and have launched DSL and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) services. In addition, a dozen public and private ISPs compete in this sector, supported by a nationwide fibre optic backbone network and international access via submarine and terrestrial fibre.

A reform of the country's Telecommunications Act was initiated in 2013 and government internet censorship was officially abolished. In addition, 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.

Key developments:

Ooredoo Tunisia launches Tunisia's first NB-IoT network; Watany Telecom licensed as Tunisia's second MVNO; MNOs and regulator sign agreement related to QoS parameters for fixed and mobile number portability; Tunisie Telecom begins rolling out FttC with VDSL vectoring, offering data at up to 300Mb/s; regulator opens public consultation on plans to regulate fibre infrastructure sharing; regulator sets amended 3G/LTE mobile data rates for operators; Tunisie Telecom partners with Korea Telecom to develop a 1Gb/s broadband service, completes G.fast trials delivering data at up to 800Mb/s; MVNO Lycamobile sees strong subscribers growth into 2017; report updates include the regulator's market data to November ay 2017, telcos' financial and operating data to Q3 2017, recent market developments.

Market penetration rates in Tunisia's telecoms sector 2017 (May)

Market | Penetration rate

Fixed-line telephony | 8.5%

Fixed broadband | 5.2%

Mobile SIM (population) | 124.3%

Companies mentioned in this report:

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


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Market analysis
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Historical overview
5.2 Telecommunications Act 2001
5.2.1 Amendments - 2008
5.2.2 Reform - 2013
5.2.3 Developments - 2014
5.3 Regulatory authorities
5.3.1 INT
5.3.2 ONT
5.4 Telecom sector liberalisation
5.5 Number Portability (NP)
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 Tunisie Telecom (TT)
6.1.1 Privatisation
6.2 Orange Tunisie
6.3 Ooredoo Tunisie (Tunisiana)
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
7.2 International infrastructure
7.2.1 Submarine fibre
7.2.2 Terrestrial
7.2.3 Satellite
7.3 Cloud services
7.4 Smart infrastructure
8. Fixed-line broadband market
8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
8.2 Broadband statistics
8.3 Public Internet access locations
8.4 Agence Tunisienne d'Internet (ATI)
8.5 Fixed-line broadband technologies
8.5.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
8.5.2 VDSL
8.5.3 G.fast
8.5.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
8.5.5 Other fixed broadband services
9. Digital Economy
9.1 E-commerce
9.2 E-learning
9.3 E-government
10. Digital media
10.1 Communications: VoIP
11. Mobile market
11.1 Market analysis
11.2 Mobile statistics
11.3 Mobile data
11.3.1 SMS, MMS
11.4 Mobile broadband
11.5 Regulatory issues
11.5.1 Network sharing
11.5.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
11.5.3 LTE spectrum
11.5.4 800MHz spectrum auction
11.5.5 OTT applications
11.6 Mobile Infrastructure
11.6.1 Digital networks
11.6.2 Other infrastructure developments
11.7 IoT and M2M networks
11.8 Major mobile operators
11.8.1 Tunicell (Tunisie Telecom)
11.8.2 Orange Tunisie
11.9 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
11.10 Mobile content and applications
11.10.1 M-money
11.10.2 Mobile TV
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Tunisia 2017 (e)
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2017 (May)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2017
Table 4 Internet statistics 2017 (May)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2017 (May)
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia 1995 - 2009
Table 8 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia 2010 - 2018
Table 9 Fixed-line subscribers by operator 2009 - 2017
Table 10 Fixed-line market share by operator 2009 - 2017
Table 11 Tunisia's international bandwidth 2006 - 2017
Table 12 Proportion of fixed-line broadband connections by data speed 2014 - 2017
Table 13 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Tunisia 1999 - 2009
Table 14 Internet users and penetration rate in Tunisia 2010 - 2018
Table 15 Fixed-line broadband subscribers 2002 - 2018
Table 16 PC household penetration 1999 - 2016
Table 17 Public internet kiosks 2015 - 2017
Table 18 DSL subscribers in Tunisia 2002 - 2017
Table 19 ADSL markets share by operator 2013 - 2017
Table 20 DSL subscribers by operator 2013 - 2017
Table 21 Orange Tunisia broadband subscribers 2012 - 2017
Table 22 FttP subscribers 2018 - 2017
Table 23 WiMAX internet subscribers 2010 - 2016
Table 24 VoIP lines in service in Tunisia 2013 - 2017
Table 25 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia 1995 - 2009
Table 26 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia 2010 - 2018
Table 27 Mobile prepaid and contract subscribers 2014 - 2017
Table 28 Mobile market share of subscribers by operator 2009 - 2017
Table 29 Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers (3G with key) 2010 - 2017
Table 30 Mobile broadband subscribers by operator 2013 - 2017
Table 31 Mobile broadband market share by operator 2013 - 2017
Table 32 Standard 3G mobile internet subscribers and penetration 2013 - 2017
Table 33 3G/LTE mobile internet subscribers by operator 2014 - 2017
Table 34 M2M connections 2015 - 2017
Table 35 Tunisie Telecom mobile subscribers 2010 - 2017
Table 36 Ooredoo Tunisia blended monthly ARPU (QR) 2010 - 2017
Table 37 Ooredoo Tunisia revenue and EBITDA 2002 - 2017
Table 38 Ooredoo Tunisia mobile subscribers 2002 - 2017
Table 39 Orange Tunisie mobile subscribers 2010 - 2017
Table 40 Lycamobile Tunisie mobile subscribers 2015 - 2017
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia 2005 2018
Chart 2 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia 2005 - 2018
Exhibit 1 Map of Tunisia

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