Starting early 2006, the Internet market in Sudan started a journey of transformation. The 2nd telecom operator, CanarTel, initiated competition starting with its wireless Internet service. Moreover, Canar’s ADSL services will be launched in mid 2006. All those factors are expected to energize the market, specifically on the broadband front.

The Dialup Internet market is competitive in Sudan. All 15 ISPs offer Subscription Free Internet (SFI) via phone lines. Sudatel has revenue sharing agreements with all the ISPs (except for those who provide wireless Internet), being the only fixed line operator prior to the entrance of CanarTel. In January of 2006, CanarTel started offering its Internet service bundled in packages with voice services. As for the ADSL, the market is still a monopoly for Sudatel. This will change by mid of this year when CanarTel lauches its broadband services. In addition, the Datacomm market was liberalized with the entrance of CanarTel in early 2006.

Internet accounts in Sudan grew at a healthy CAGR of 56.7% over the period from 2001 to 2005. Despite this, Internet penetration in Sudan is still very low by absolute and relative standards. By end of 2005, the Internet accounts penetration rate stood at a mere 0.2% of the population, including subscription-free Internet, and ADSL.” Andrawes Snobar, Arab Advisors Senior Research Analyst wrote in the report. “With competition initiated in late January 2006 by CanarTel, the Arab Advisors Group projects that the absolute yearly additions into the market will increase to sum up to 150,000 accounts added over the next 5-year period (2006-2010). Furthermore, CanarTel’s launch of its ADSL service in mid 2006 is expected to energize the broadband uptake in the huge Arab-African country. The Arab Advisors Group forecasts a gradual growth in the broadband market size over the coming 5 years. ADSL accounts are projected to reach make up more than 10% of the total Internet market size by 2010.”  Snobar added.

Al Bawaba