Tunisia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Tunisia sees m-money interoperability come into play

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 and infrastructure projects 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. Political difficulties in recent years have also had an impact on the telecom sector, notably causing the delay in the 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:

  • Tunisie Telecom signs three-year partnership with Vodafone Group, contracts Huawei to build an LTE network;
  • Mobile money interoperability becomes available across the three mobile networks;
  • 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 delivers FttC with VDSL vectoring, offering data at up to 300Mb/s;
  • 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 subscriber growth into 2018;
  • Report updates include the regulator’s market data to May 2018, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q2 2018, recent market developments.
  • 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.

Table of Contents

  • 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 VoIP
    • 7.3 International infrastructure
      • 7.3.1 Submarine fibre
      • 7.3.2 Terrestrial
      • 7.3.3 Satellite
    • 7.4 Cloud services
    • 7.5 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. Mobile market
    • 10.1 Market analysis
    • 10.2 Mobile statistics
    • 10.3 Mobile data
      • 10.3.1 SMS, MMS
    • 10.4 Mobile broadband
    • 10.5 Regulatory issues
      • 10.5.1 Network sharing
      • 10.5.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 10.5.3 LTE spectrum
      • 10.5.4 800MHz spectrum auction
      • 10.5.5 OTT applications
    • 10.6 Mobile Infrastructure
      • 10.6.1 GSM-R
      • 10.6.2 3G
      • 10.6.3 4G (LTE)
      • 10.6.4 Other infrastructure developments
    • 10.7 IoT and M2M networks
    • 10.8 Major mobile operators
      • 10.8.1 Tunicell (Tunisie Telecom)
      • 10.8.2 Ooredoo (Tunisiana)
      • 10.8.3 Orange Tunisie
      • 10.8.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 10.9 Mobile content and applications
      • 10.9.1 M-money
  • 11. Related reports
  • Table 2 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia – 1995 - 2009
  • Table 3 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia – 2010 - 2019
  • Table 4 – Fixed-line subscribers by operator – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 5 – Fixed-line market share by operator – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 6 – VoIP lines in service in Tunisia – 2013 - 2018
  • Table 7 –International internet bandwidth in Tunisia – 2006 - 2018
  • Table 8 – Proportion of fixed-line broadband connections: lower data speed – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 9 – Proportion of fixed-line broadband connections: higher data speed – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 10 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Tunisia – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 11 – Internet users and penetration rate in Tunisia – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 12 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 13 – PC household penetration – 1999 - 2017
  • Table 14 – Public internet kiosks – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 15 – DSL subscribers in Tunisia – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 16 – ADSL markets share by operator – 2013 - 2018
  • Table 17 –DSL subscribers by operator – 2013 - 2018
  • Table 18 – Orange Tunisia broadband subscribers – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 19 – FttP/B subscribers – 2018 - 2018
  • Table 20 – WiMAX internet subscribers – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 21 – Satellite internet subscribers – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 22 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia – 1995 - 2009
  • Table 23 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia – 2010 - 2019
  • Table 24 – Mobile prepaid and contract subscribers – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 25 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 26 – Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers (3G/LTE with key) – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 27 – Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers by operator – 2013 - 2018
  • Table 28 – Mobile broadband market share by operator – 2013 - 2018
  • Table 29 – Standard 3G/LTE mobile internet subscribers and penetration – 2013 - 2018
  • Table 30 –3G/LTE mobile internet subscribers by operator – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 31 – Mobile data traffic by device type (TB) – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 32 – M2M connections – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 33 – Tunisie Telecom mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 34 – Ooredoo Tunisia blended monthly ARPU (QR) – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 35 – Ooredoo Tunisia revenue and EBITDA – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 36 – Ooredoo Tunisia mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 37 – Orange Tunisie mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 38 – Lycamobile Tunisie mobile subscribers – 2015 - 2018
  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Tunisia – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 2 – Fixed-line market share by operator – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Tunisia – 2005 - 2019
  • Chart 4 – Mobile prepaid and contract subscribers – 2014 – 2018
  • Chart 5 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 6 – Ooredoo Tunisia revenue and EBITDA – 2002 – 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Tunisia

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