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Iraq - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

May 2020 | 85 pages | ID: I451117AB93EN
BuddeComm

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Mobile operators would benefit from 4G infrastructure in Iraq

While Iraq continues to face political and economic challenges in 2020; signs of civil stability during 2019 paved the way for the mobile and fixed sectors to rebuild and restore telecommunications services in some of the liberated areas where networks had been damaged or destroyed.

The three major operators in the competitive mobile sector include Zain Iraq, Asiacell and Korek Telecom and together they own over 90% of mobile tower infrastructure. During 2020 the operators have focused their efforts on supporting Iraq in various ways through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The majority of Iraq’s mobile infrastructure is still based on GSM and 3G, except in the Kurdish region where 4G is available, primarily through services offered by Fastlink. The major operators hope 4G spectrum will soon be allocated and allow them to capitalise further on mobile broadband opportunities.

From a regulatory perspective, Iraq’s Draft Telecommunications Laws have been under scrutiny for a number of years and have yet to be finalised. They were recently discussed at a workshop hosted by the GSMA in early 2020; where it was suggested that the Laws should be amended to include global best practices.

This BuddeComm report provides key telecoms industry information and statistics for Iraq. It provides information on existing telecoms infrastructure, the regulatory environment, fixed and mobile subscriber statistics and information on the major operators.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth. Please note: due to the instability of this market, industry forecasts are not currently available.

The report covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:
  • Iraq offers potential for telecoms infrastructure development with many under-served areas requiring better coverage and/or reconstruction.
  • Fixed broadband networks are in deployment in Iraq and recent repair work has focused on fixing damaged fibre-optic cables.
  • Operators have faced serious security concerns for both personnel, equipment and infrastructure due to the civil unrest.
  • Nearly all users in Iraq are prepaid and these services have been instrumental in encouraging mobile take up by the mass market.
  • The mobile operators are focusing on the more lucrative enterprise and B2B market segments.
Companies mentioned in this report:

Iraqi Telephone and Postal Company (ITPC), Newroz Telecom, Asiacell, Zain Iraq, Korek Telecom, Regional Telecom, Communication and Media Commission (CMC), ScopeSky Communications.

Please note: Due to civil unrest in Iraq, current and detailed information on the telecoms sector can at times be difficult to obtain and forecasting is not included in this report.
1 KEY STATISTICS

2 COUNTRY OVERVIEW

3 COVID-19 AND ITS IMPACT ON THE TELECOM SECTOR

3.1 Economic considerations and responses
3.2 Mobile devices
3.3 Subscribers
3.4 Infrastructure
3.5 Impact on Iraq

4 TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET

4.1 Historical overview
4.2 Market overview

5 REGIONAL MIDDLE EAST MARKET COMPARISON

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
5.3 Fixed and mobile broadband penetration

6 REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT

6.1 Historic overview
6.2 Recent developments
6.3 Regulatory authority
6.4 Mobile regulatory issues

7 MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS

7.1 Historical overview
7.2 Market analysis
7.3 Mobile broadband statistics
7.4 Mobile infrastructure
7.5 Major mobile operators

8 FIXED-BROADBAND MARKET

8.1 Overview
8.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
8.3 Other fixed broadband services

9 TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE

9.1 Overview of the national telecom network
9.2 Historical overview
9.3 International infrastructure

10 FIXED NETWORK OPERATOR IN IRAQ

10.1 Iraqi Telephone and Postal Company (ITPC)

11 SMART INFRASTRUCTURE

11.1 E-Commerce
11.2 M-payments, m-banking and e-banking
11.3 Digital and mobile media

12 APPENDIX HISTORIC DATA

13 GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS

14 RELATED REPORTS

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Iraq 2019 (e)
Table 2 Iraq GDP and inflation 2014 2019
Table 3 Iraq - mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2009 2019
Table 4 Iraq - active mobile broadband subscriptions 2014 2019
Table 5 Iraq - mobile operator market shares 2009 2019
Table 6 Asiacell revenue, EBITDA and Blended ARPU 2016 2019
Table 7 Asiacell subscribers 2015 2019
Table 8 Zain Iraq financial data 2009 2019
Table 9 Zain Iraq mobile subscribers 2009 2019
Table 10 Zain Iraq market share of prepaid subscribers 2009 2019
Table 11 Korek Telecom subscribers 2013 2019
Table 12 Iraq - Internet user penetration and estimates 2008 2018
Table 13 Iraq - fixed broadband subscribers 2017 - 2019
Table 14 Iraq - fixed and mobile Internet traffic 2017; 2018
Table 15 Iraq fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2009 2018
Table 16 Historic - Iraq fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1990 2008
Table 17 Historic - Iraq - Internet user penetration and estimates 2001 2008
Table 18 Historic Iraq - mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2002 2008
Table 19 Historic - Zain Iraq mobile subscribers 2006 2008
Table 20 Historic - Zain Iraq financial data 2008
Table 21 Historic - Iraq - mobile operator market shares 2004 2008
Table 22 Historic - Asiacell subscribers 2006 2014
Chart 1 Middle East mobile subscriber and mobile broadband penetration
Chart 2 Middle East fixed and mobile broadband subscriber penetration
Exhibit 1 Background information - Orascom Telecom Iraq Corporation/Iraqna


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