Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/05/2012 -- BMI's North Africa telecoms market report contains analysis and forecasts for the mobile, fixed-line and internet sectors in four North African states: Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. The telecoms markets in the countries were affected by political upheavals in the region during 2011, some of which turned violent and resulted in the vandalisation of telecoms equipment and the displacement of a considerable number of subscribers.
Algeria has yet to see any obvious political change, although the pressure to reform certainly exists. During 2011, the mobile market recorded strong growth, albeit below our previous expectations. However, the delay in the licensing of 3G services and the ongoing dispute between the government and the owners of Djezzy continues to pose considerable downside risk to our growth outlook. That said, Q112 growth was better than expected and we hold to our forecasts for this market and believe there will be 39.8mn mobile subscribers by 2016, a penetration rate of 103.6%.
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Tunisia's forecasts in all fields have been revised this quarter to reflect Q112 data published by the regulator and the operators. We have upgraded our mobile and broadband forecasts as both sectors recorded stronger than expected subscriber growth. However, the fixed-line sector saw further shrinkage. 3G services are expected to be one of the biggest growth areas during our forecast period through to 2016, as competition among the three operators is expected to drive subscriber growth through competitive pricing and rapid network expansion. By the end of 2016, we forecast Tunisia's mobile, fixed-line and broadband penetration rates to reach 140.7%, 9.4% and 9.1% respectively by 2016. Meanwhile, the proportion of 3G subscriptions to the total mobile market will increase from just 2% in 2011 to more than 9.5% by 2016.
Morocco is the biggest and most dynamic of the four markets in the region. Mobile penetration in Morocco is now well above 100%, but we do not expect this to hinder growth in our forecast period. Rather we believe the main downside risk to subscriber growth expectations could be efforts by mobile operators to focus more on high value subscriber acquisition to boost their revenue.
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