Telecommunications Market Opportunities and Challenges in Iraq
The telecommunications sector in Iraq is widely considered to be a reconstruction success and a foundation of national stability. Today, a variety of services are available to every Iraqi citizen. More than 10 million Iraqis have access to mobile phone services. Internet access provided by small private entrepreneurs is available throughout the country. Fixed wireless voice and data services by larger private operating companies are available in the larger cities.
The basic telecommunications infrastructure is still being repaired and rebuilt. Buried fiber optic infrastructure is being slowly but steadily extended throughout Iraq. Long-term plans for long-haul infrastructure envision a redundant series of large interconnected metropolitan ring networks covering the seven largest population centers in Iraq. These are being overlaid with three donor-funded microwave networks from the Turkish border to Basra and the Kuwaiti border in the south. Core infrastructure investment throughout Iraq remains uneven and focused in major cities.
Much progress has been made, but much work remains to be done in the development of Iraq’s telecommunications infrastructure and service offers. In addition, it is too early to know if Iraq’s progress in telecommunications will continue without coalition security as a safety net. But in late 2009, the foundation is in place for a modern telecommunications infrastructure that within five years, at current levels of progress, can be equal to many countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.
This webinar will discuss the many opportunities and challenges in the telecommunications market in Iraq.