Tunisia to push 3G ahead of fixed-line

Tunisia believes the future of their telecom market is in the 3G sector and not in fixed-lines. The government has announced that in their push to boost the 3G and mobile markets, they will break up the country’s fixed-line monopoly to promote diversification and competition.

Tunisian authorities believes the future of the country's telecom market lies in 3G ahead of fixed-line. (Image: File)

According to the ministry of communications, the country’s telecom sector accounts for roughly 11 percent of Tunisia’s Gross Domestic Product. It currently has three operators in the country, Orange Tunisia, Tunisiana and Tunisia Telecom, with a reported penetration of 115.3 percent through last year.
A report from Frost & Sullivan says that by 2018, the telecom market could near the $3 billion in revenue target as it continues to see positive growth.
“The arrival of the new fixed and mobile service operator in 2010 dissolved the monopoly of the fixed-line incumbent,” noted Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Jonas Zelba.
“At the same time, it increased competition which is likely to drive growth in the telecom market,” added Zelba.

With the operators grabbing 3G licenses, the study of the North African country’s telecom industry notes that they expect Tunisia to see continued exponential growth as more and more citizens are able to use their smartphones. It will also open up the market for hand devices as citizens want to be able to get onto the Internet as they go about their daily life.
The only concern Frost & Sullivan had for Tunisia going forward was the political instability in the country. As a result of the 2011 uprising, the telecommunication market has been significantly affected by the unrest as the market’s revenue shank by 3.6 per cent in 2011, but experts and the government believe it will be back on track this year.
“It is critical for Tunisia to resolve the political instability quickly to ensure healthy and much needed investments in the country,” says Zelba.

Joseph Mayton