The short-term outlook remains difficult for the telecoms operators in Yemen. The challenging environment which currently exists is a result of the ongoing conflict between opposing parties which flared again in late 2014 and continues today. In 2017 international concern is mounting regarding the growing humanitarian issues in Yemen, with famine and food shortages rising, along with a severe cholera outbreak.
The unrelenting military activity has impacted heavily upon Yemen's economy as well as reportedly causing severe destruction to the country's infrastructure, including telecommunications equipment. Telecoms operators also face the challenge of a market which is inhibited by the lack of an independent regulator.
Yemen had done much to upgrade and expand its telecom sector prior to the civil unrest. However tele-density remains among the lowest in the Arab states, reflecting Yemen's status as one of the poorest countries in the region.
Current mobile penetration levels indicate there is much room for growth, with prepaid services accounting for the majority of mobile subscriptions. Yemen's mobile data market is in the nascent stages of development, with mobile messaging and mobile Internet access offered. Serious competition is unlikely until the GSM operators are permitted to launch 3G services however.
A further inhibitor to the uptake of both Internet and mobile broadband services has been the high costs. Fixed home Internet access is expensive with consumers required to purchase a router and pay for on-going monthly bundles, which can be cost prohibitive. For this reason, many citizens choose to utilize Internet cafes instead. Mobile broadband services, as well as smart phone devices, are also very expensive and beyond the reach of much of the population where many live below the poverty line.
Please note: Yemen can be a difficult market to research given the volatile civil unrest and rising concerns regarding famine. All recent statistics are estimated only as the current situation is largely unknown. There is reportedly significant destruction to telecoms infrastructure.
Table 1 Key telecom parameters 2013; 2016
Sector: 2013: 2016
Subscribers to telecoms services (million): (e)
Fixed Broadband users: 0.25: 0.48
Fixed-line telephony: 1.14: 1.28
Mobile phone: 16.68: 17.78
- Over 80% of the population is reportedly in need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen.
- There have been reports that a significant amount of Yemen's telecoms infrastructure services is no longer operational due to being destroyed or damaged as part of the civil fighting.
- MTN Yemen had its operating licence renewed until December 2017.
- In mid-2016, 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.
- Yemen citizens are faced with high telecom service costs along with heavy subsidies for items such as fuel.
- Prepaid services have been instrumental in encouraging mobile take up by the mass market.
TeleYemen, Public Telecommunications Corporation (PTC), Yemen Mobile, SabaFon, MTN Yemen, Y Telecom, Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), DARE submarine cable consortium.
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
5.4 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
10. Digital media
10.2 Social media
10.3 Digital music
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
11.7.3 TeleYemen/Yemen Mobile
11.7.4 HiTS Unitel/Y Telecom
11.8 Mobile handsets
12. Related reports
List of Tables
Table 1 Key telecom parameters 2013; 2016
Table 2 Country statistics Yemen - 2016
Table 3 Telecom revenue Yemen - 2013
Table 4 Telephone network statistics Yemen - 2016
Table 5 Broadband statistics Yemen - 2016
Table 6 Internet user statistics Yemen - 2016
Table 7 Mobile statistics Yemen - 2016
Table 8 National telecommunications authority
Table 9 GDP growth and inflation 2010 - 2016
Table 10 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1995 - 2016
Table 11 Internet user and penetration estimates 1997 mid 2016
Table 12 Historical - households with Internet access 2004 - 2010
Table 13 Fixed broadband subscribers 2005 - 2016
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 August 2016
Table 17 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2004
Table 18 Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005 - 2016
Table 19 Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2011 - 2016
Table 20 MTN Yemen - subscribers, ARPU, and market share 2005 - 2016
Table 21 MTN Yemen revenue and capex 2014 mid 2016
Table 22 SabaFon subscribers 2004 - 2016