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Yemen - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Maintaining basic communication services is vitally important for Yemen

Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East and marked by unrest during its modern history. Tensions between opposing parties flared again in late 2014 and in 2016 over 80% of the population is reportedly in need of humanitarian assistance. Amongst this crisis however; there is a glimmer of hope with efforts underway to bring peace to Yemen via the United Nations attempting to negotiate a peace deal.

While the focus on telecommunications services tends to take a back seat in this environment; it is still of vital importance to maintain a functioning telecoms system. Basic communications services create a vital link for citizens to obtain access to basic services, information or emergency assistance. In Yemen there have been reports that a significant amount of its telecoms infrastructure services are no longer operational due to being destroyed or damaged as part of the civil fighting.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen has resulted in a global organisation called the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) assisting to improve telecoms services. ETC has been operating in Yemen since April 2015 and has provided basic security telecommunications services, internet hubs and power charging stations. It is operating in Sanaa, Al Hudaydah, Ibb, Saada and plans to expand further.

Yemen is currently an unpredictable market that faces serious civic issues. The recent conflict has put a halt on much of the progress for telecoms for the time being. However despite these challenges there are some positive signs for the future. In mid 2016 for example, it was announced that TeleYemen had joined a consortium that would see the build-out of a new submarine cable, due for completion in 2018. Known as the Djibouti Africa Regional Express (DARE) initiative, the cable will link Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Somaliland, Yemen and Djibouti.

Key telecom parameters 2013; 2015
Sector | 2013 | 2015
Subscribers to telecoms services (million): (e)
Fixed Broadband users | 0.25 | 0.39
Fixed-line telephony | 1.14 | 1.19
Mobile phone | 16.84 | 17.36
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

Note: While industry data depicts growth in this market, these are estimates only. The actual state of telecoms infrastructure in Yemen is largely unknown due to the reported damage and destruction that has occurred as a result of the civil unrest beginning in late 2014.

Key developments:

In the rural and remote areas of Yemen there is a scarcity of telecommunications equipment, infrastructure and service providers such as ISPs.
Satellite and radio communications have become important technologies to supply services in Yemen.
Aid organisations, including those assisting to resolve telecommunications services, face challenges moving about Yemen due to the security issues.
While competition has been introduced into the mobile sector, there is no competition in fixed lines and very little in Internet provision. With Yemen's formal acceptance into the World Trade Organization in mid 2014; we should see further progress towards telecoms liberalisation in the near future. However the current civil unrest will impact progress in this area.

Companies covered in this report include:

TeleYemen, Public Telecommunications Corporation (PTC), Yemen Mobile, SabaFon, MTN Yemen, Y Telecom, Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), DARE submarine cable consortium.


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Historical overview
4.2 Market analysis
4.3 Recent developments
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Regulatory authority
5.2 Telecom sector liberalisation
5.3 Privatisation
5.4 Internet governance
6. Fixed network operators in Yemen
6.1 TeleYemen/Yemen International Telecommunication Company
6.2 Public Telecommunications Corporation (PTC)
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
7.2 International infrastructure (satellite, submarine)
8. Broadband access market
8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
8.1.1 Market analysis
8.1.2 Broadband statistics
8.1.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
8.1.4 Other fixed broadband services
9. Digital economy
9.1 e-Commerce
9.2 e-Government
9.3 e-Health
9.4 e-Education
10. Digital media
10.1 Videostreaming
10.2 Social media
10.3 Digital music
10.4 VoIP
11. Mobile communications
11.1 Market analysis
11.2 Mobile statistics
11.3 Mobile data
11.3.1 SMS and MMS
11.3.2 OTT messaging services
11.4 Mobile broadband statistics
11.5 Regulatory issues
11.5.1 GSM licences awarded
11.5.2 Third GSM licence
11.6 Mobile infrastructure
11.7 Major mobile operators
11.7.1 MTN Yemen
11.7.2 SabaFon
11.7.3 TeleYemen/Yemen Mobile
11.7.4 HiTS Unitel/Y Telecom
11.8 Mobile handsets
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Yemen - 2015
Table 2 Telecom revenue Yemen - 2013
Table 3 Telephone network statistics Yemen - 2015
Table 4 Broadband statistics Yemen - 2015
Table 5 Internet user statistics Yemen - 2015
Table 6 Mobile statistics Yemen - 2015
Table 7 National telecommunications authority
Table 8 GDP growth and inflation 2010 - 2015
Table 9 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1995 - 2015
Table 10 Internet user and penetration estimates 1997 - 2015
Table 11 Households with Internet access 2004 - 2015
Table 12 Fixed broadband subscribers 2005 - 2015
Table 13 Household PC penetration 2005 - 2015
Table 14 International Internet bandwidth 2005 - 2015
Table 15 Yemen how Internet users spend their time
Table 16 - Facebook stats for Middle East as at July 2015
Table 17 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2004
Table 18 Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005 - 2015
Table 19 Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2011 - 2015
Table 20 MTN subscribers, ARPU, and market share 2005 - 2014
Table 21 SabaFon subscribers 2004 - 2015

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