Tunisia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

Tunisia's regulator consults on launch of LTE services

As a result of heavy investments in the telecom sector since the mid-1990s, Tunisia has one of the most developed telecommunications and broadband infrastructures in Northern Africa, sporting some of the continent's highest market penetration rates and lowest prices. The events of the Arab Spring' revolution in 2011 drove the country into a mild recession, but GDP growth returned to pre-crisis levels the following year and is expected to remain stable at around 4.5% from 2015 onwards. Nevertheless, subsequent political difficulties have had an impact on the telecom sector, notably causing the delay in the sale of EIT's 35% interest in Tunisie Telecom, the country's fixed-line incumbent which offers a full range of services.

The mobile sector has experienced exceptional growth since 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. France Telecom/Orange 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 with up to 42Mb/s using dual carrier technology are now available, while there are moves to develop commercial LTE services by the end of 2014 or early 2015.

Ooredoo and Orange are also licensed as fixed-line operators and have launched DSL and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) services. In addition, eleven ISPs compete in this sector, supported by a nationwide fibre optic backbone network and international access via submarine and terrestrial fibre. The former government encouraged and promoted internet use but at the same time kept tight control by restricting access to certain websites. 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.

In mid-2014 the regulator put in place a number of new measures and rules centred on consumer rights in the telecom sector. It also affirmed its commitment to implement a universal service regime and Number Portability in a bid to encourage market competition, as well as develop a mechanism to encourage infrastructure sharing agreements among operators.

Market penetration rates in Tunisia's telecoms sector July 2014
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 132%
Fixed | 8.2%
Internet | 49%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Key developments:

Regulator opens consultation on 4G services; FttP and VDSL2 vectoring services launched, offering data at up to 100Mb/s; X-Labs develops mesh WiFi networks; MNOs call for committee to manage launch of LTE services; Didon submarine cable makes landing in Tunisia and is lit for services to Sicily and beyond; minority stake in Tunisie Telecom delayed through political difficulties; reform of Telecommunications Act initiated; government's censorship of the internet s officially abolished; 3G mobile broadband growth outshines fixed-line broadband; report includes the regulator's market data to January 2015; telcos' financial and operating date to Q1 2015, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

Publication overview:

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Austria'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 developments;
Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
Convergence and Digital Media;
3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and industry issues;
Telecoms operators privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE).

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Davos World Economic Forum ranking 2008-2013
3.2 Market analysis
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Telecommunications Act 2001
4.2.1 2008 amendments
4.2.2 2013 reform
4.2.3 Developments in 2014
4.3 Regulatory authorities
4.3.1 INT
4.3.2 ONT
4.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Tunisia
4.5 Number Portability (NP)
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
5.3 Ooredoo (Tunisiana)
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, Net neutrality
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 DSL
9.2.1 ADSL
9.2.2 VDSL
9.3 WiMAX
9.4 Mesh WiFi
9.5 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
9.6 Satellite broadband
9.7 Mobile internet
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 Ooredoo (Tunisiana)
11.2.3 Orange Tunisie
11.3 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
11.4 Mobile data services
11.4.1 SMS, MMS
11.4.2 GPRS, EDGE, WAP, Blackberry
11.5 Third Generation (3G)
11.6 Long-term Evolution (4G/LTE)
11.7 Mobile TV
11.8 Satellite mobile
11.9 GSM-R
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Tunisia 2014
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2015 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2015
Table 4 Internet statistics 2015 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia 1995 - 2004
Table 8 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia 2005 - 2015
Table 9 Fixed-line subscribers by operator 2009 - 2014
Table 10 Fixed-line market share by operator 2009 - 2014
Table 11 Data service subscribers by technology in Tunisia 2001 - 2013
Table 12 Tunisia's international bandwidth 2001; 2006 - 2013
Table 13 Internet subscribers, users and penetration rate in Tunisia 1999 - 2015
Table 14 PC penetration in Tunisia 1999 - 2013
Table 15 Fixed-line broadband connections by data speed 2014 - 2015
Table 16 ADSL subscribers vs total internet subscribers in Tunisia 2002 - 2015
Table 17 ADSL markets share by operator 2013 - 2015
Table 18 Ooredoo FttP pricing 2015
Table 19 FttP subscribers 2013 - 2015
Table 20 Active mobile broadband subscribers (3G with key) 2010 - 2015
Table 21 Active mobile broadband subscribers by operator 2013 - 2015
Table 22 Mobile broadband market share by operator 2013 - 2015
Table 23 Mobile broadband subscribers (3G) and penetration 2013 - 2015
Table 24 VoIP lines in service in Tunisia 2013 - 2014
Table 25 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia 1995 - 2004
Table 26 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia 2005 - 2016
Table 27 Mobile market share of subscribers by operator 2009 - 2014
Table 28 Tunisie Telecom mobile subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 29 Ooredoo revenue and blended monthly ARPU 2002 - 2014
Table 30 Ooredoo subscribers and blended monthly ARPU 2002 - 2014
Table 31 Orange Tunisie subscribers 2010 - 2014
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia 2005 2015
Chart 2 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia 2005 - 2016
Exhibit 1 Map of Tunisia

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