Arab Advisors Group
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The threat of competition reinvigorates Tunisia's communications market.
Wednesday, July 31, 2002

A newly released report from the Arab Advisors Group overviews the communications market in Tunisia and the changes at play in the market. The Arab Advisors Group (www.arabadvisors.com) is pleased to announce that Tunisia, along with Algeria and Libya, have been added to the core coverage countries of the Strategic Research Service.

July 31, 2002 -

Tunisia joined the World Trade Organization in February 1997, and committed to opening its telecommunications market for foreign investment and competition by 2004. For the past 2 years, the state-owned Tunisie Telecom has been trying to be ready for the changing landscape, especially with impending competition in the GSM market.

A new report, entitled "An overview of the communications market in Tunisia", was released to the Arab Advisors Group's (www.arabadvisors.com) Strategic Research Service subscribers on July 30, 2002. The report sheds some light on the significant jump in the number of subscribers in the cellular market and the significant growth of the fixed mainlines installed, in the Tunisian communications market.

In January 2000, the Tunisian GSM market was opened for investment and competition. However, due to stringent legal and financial requirements by the government, the licensing of a second GSM operator besides that of Tunisie Telecom's only came recently in March 2002 (the second operator is yet to launch service). This delay allowed Tunisie Telecom to enhance investments in its GSM network, providing a larger coverage of its services, added features, and the ability to cope with a larger subscribers base.

"Cellular subscribers of Tunisie Telecom have increased from 119,075 in 2000, to 389,208 in 2001 and 404,202 in March 2002. Thus, increasing the penetration rate from 1.2% in 2000 to 4.01% in 2001. The majority of the increase in it's the subscribers base was as a result of the introduction of prepaid service" Arab Advisors analyst Mr. Uraidi noted.

The report has showed that in the fixed telephone network infrastructure, Tunisie telecom has been expanding its infrastructure reaching a ratio of 15.21 lines per 100 inhabitants in March 2002, compared with a 9.53 lines per 100 inhabitants in 1999. Most recently in December 2001, Tunisie Telecom had signed an agreement with Alcatel for a fixed network expansion. "The network expansion will be adding 100,000 new telephone lines to the existing network to be operational by mid-2002, the expansion in the scope of services provision, and the availability of its services ensures a greater subscribers base", Mr. Uraidi added.

The Arab Advisors Group (www.arabadvisors.com) is pleased to announce that Tunisia, along with Algeria and Libya, have been added to the core coverage countries of the Strategic Research Service. This raises to 15 the number of Arab countries that are continuously and systematically researched and analyzed by Arab Advisors team of analysts. Comprehensive country reports on the communications markets in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya are in the pipeline, with Tunisia's upcoming report slated for September 2002.

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