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Recently Released Market Study: Iraq Telecommunications Report Q3 2013

Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Iraq Telecommunications Report Q3 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/21/2013 -- The Iraqi mobile sector still has plenty of potential for growth over the next five years as it looks to recover from a disappointing performance in 2011. 2012 and Q113 returned the country to significant net additions, a product of three strong telecoms operators in the market. We believe this was able to mask the continued muted growth in the country's fixed-line and broadband sectors. Further giving impetus to the mobile industry is the prospect of 3G licences being awarded by end-2013, which should benefit consumers and the broader economy by allowing for the introduction of important services such as mobile banking. Although 4G was launched in Iraq during the quarter, we do not believe this will have an impact on our mobile broadband forecasts.

Key Data

- The mobile market grew by 12.5% y-o-y in Q113, up from 7.1% in Q112 and slightly up from 10.4% in Q111. We forecast the sector to grow by an average of 6.1% per annum between 2013 and 2017.
- Zain Iraq and Asiacell reported a drop in ARPU after relative stability. However, we envisage ARPU to trend lower due to competition and operators' inability to offer advanced data services.
- New data from the ITU for 2012 were in-line with our forecasts for the country's fixed-line penetration and enabled us to update our historical figures. Iraq has one of the lowest fixed-line and broadband penetration rates in the region, at 5.6% at the end of 2012, and we do not expect the situation to improve significantly through 2017. We forecast the penetration rates to reach 5.1% by end-2017. However, no new broadband information was provided, leaving our forecasts for this sector unchanged.

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Key Trends And Developments

In March 2013, Syria, Iran, and Iraq signed a joint agreement in an effort to establish fibre-optic connectivity between their countries. The deal involves providing fibre-based voice and data transmission capability from Iran to Iraq, before linking to Syria, and then on to Europe.

In April 2013, Zain Iraq admitted that its IPO, instead of being completed in the first half of 2013 as initially anticipated, will now be completed by the end of 2013. At the company's annual general meeting earlier in April, Asaad Ahmed al-Banwan said: 'We are now [examining] the legal procedures and we think by the end of the year we will finish the public offering'. In June 2013, Reuters reported that the Zain Group is preparing to establish a local holding company through which it will offer one quarter of its stake in Zain Iraq to the public as per the requirements of its US$1.25bn license. Due to Iraqi laws prohibiting foreignowned companies from listing in Iraq, Zain is obliged to set up a holding company, called Khatam Communications. Through Khatam Communications, Zain will offer 55.9mn shares in that firm priced at IQD1 (US$0.00085) each. The offer period, which will run for 30 days, started on June 4

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