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Working Paper on The Urban Telecommunication Development In The Republic of Yemen. By Eng . Sadek M. Mosleh Projects Manager & Head of technical committee. Table of Content Page 1. Introduction……………………………………………… 3 2. Short Country Description……..……………………… 4

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Working Paper on The Urban Telecommunication Development In The Republic of Yemen

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Working Paper on

The Urban Telecommunication Development

In The

Republic ofYemen


Eng. Sadek M. Mosleh

Projects Manager


Head of technical committee


Table of Content


1. Introduction……………………………………………… 3

2. Short Country Description……..……………………… 4

3. Competition situation………………………………… . 6

4. Development of the urban telecommunication network..8

6. Conclusion ……………………………………………. 15



The provision of telecommunication services inYemen is launched at the beginning of fiftieth of the 20th century by providing the basic telephone services while the telegraphy services are provided more earlier inAden by Cable & Wireless during the period of the British Colonist of the southern part ofYemen to serve his benefits in the area .

The telecommunication network was consisting at that time of electromechanical switches and traditional analogue transmission systems .The first digital switching exchange was put in operation in the year 1979 in Sana’a D site .It was of the type E10B from Alcatel \ France

During the previous decades in the life of the telecommunication network , the telecommunication sector has achieved a great substantial success by using the modern technology to link the different governorates in the Republic with the telecommunication services .In 1997 all the remaininganalogue systems were completely replaced , so thewhole telecommunication network is becoming fully digital ..


The progress that has been made in the telecommunication network inYemen is materialized at present through the use of digital exchanges , digital transmission network through fiber optic cables , digital microwave systems and space telecommunication stations as well as submarine ( SEA-ME-WE2) and terrestrial fiber cables for international and regional telecommunications.

Pilot projects were also implemented in some rural areas using advanced technologies .The big challenge we are facing is the development of the telecommunications in the rural areas which constitute around 74% from the overall population .

The telecommunication inYemen is run three different structured entities , Public , Private and mixed Sectors .

Until the first half of year 2001 the telecommunication network was operated by two main Operators , the Yemen Telecom (YT ) , a government entity , which provides the fixed telecommunication services on monopoly basis and the Yemen International Telecommunication Company ( TeleYemen) , a joint-venture Company ( Yemen government 49% , British Cable & Wireless 51%) , which


provides the international telecommunication services on monopoly basis until the end of 2003, in addition to analogue mobile services and internet services .

In the framework of the liberalization process , two new GSM Operators have being licensed in July 2000 and entered the telecom market and launched the GSM services in July 2001 on competitive basis .

A number of telecom services resellers are licensed to provide prepaid public telephone GMPCS and internet services in the country on competitive basis .

The Ministry of Telecommunications is the regulatory regime in the telecom sector in theRepublic ofYemen . The Telecommunication Law no. 38 of 1991 andsubsequent amendments in 1996 spells out the responsibilities of the Ministry of Telecommunications .

In the context of this working paper , more information are included concerning thestatus of the telecommunication network and the experience ofYemen in the development of the rural telecommunication network . Some explanations on the status of the competition in the telecommunication sector will also be described .


2-Short Country Description

2.1.Profile onYemen


TheRepublic ofYemen is located at the southwestern part of theArabian Peninsula . It is bordered from the north by the Kingdom Saudi Arabia, from the east by the Sultanate of Oman, from the south by theArabian Sea and theGulf of Aden and from the west by theRed Sea. Its area is about 550,000 sq. kilometers, excluding AL-Rubu AL- Khali desert.


The political Capital: Sanaa

  • The economic and commercial Capital: Aden
  • Physical Divisions
  • TopographicallyYemen is to be classified into five regions:
        • Mountainous
        • Plateaus
        • Coastal
        • Islands
        • Empty Quarter
  • Administrative Divisions
  • Yemen is divided into 19 governorates in addition to the Capital
  • Population
  • The population amounted to 19.5 million inhabitants, as at the end 2002, spread over the
  • country in more than 70,000 communities .Population density is around 35.5 persons per sq. kilometer. Some 26.5% of the population lives in the urban areas, remaining 73.5% in the rural areas .The annual growth rate is 3.5% and the average number of persons per household is 7.4.
  • GDP per head inYemen is around US$ 404.

2.2.Short history description of telecommunications Sector

The first telephone switch has been installed in 1954 to serve the public atAden city, and since that time till the setup of the blessed unification of the two former parts ofYemen in May 1990, telephone services remained exclusive in small geographical areas, mostly main cities. In 1990 telephone lines capacity reached only ( 153, 866) lines.

In October 1989 TeleYemen was founded according to the joint venture agreement between the government of Yemen, represented by the Yemen telecom ( 49 %), and the British Cable & Wireless company (51%).

TeleYemen is taking the responsibility of operating and promoting the international telecom services (on monopoly basis till the end of this year 2003), E- TACS cellular mobile telephone system and the Internet.

The Yemen Telecom ( YT ) , owned by the Government, is a self financed corporation and operate in accordance with the public sector rules and regulations , provides the fixed local and national telephone services to all Republic's governorates , along with paging system and the Internet services .

Much progress has been made in telecommunications in Yemen through the use of digital telephone exchanges, fiber optic cables (PDH & SDH), digital microwave systems and space telecommunication stations as well as submarine and terrestrial fiber cables for international and regional telecommunications.


Pilot projects were implemented in the rural areas using the following technologies:

- Access fiber carriers

-Fixed wireless local loop systems (DECT and CDMA)

Within the framework of modernization of the telecommunication network, YT has in 2001 replaced the regional microwave system (analogue) between Yemen and Saudi Arabia by a digital transmission system of advanced technology using terrestrial fiber cable to facilitate and meet the requirement for increased traffic exchanged between the two countries.

At the end of July 2000 the Ministry of Telecommunications granted two licenses to the private sector to finance and establish a GSM mobile phone network on a competitive basis. In February 2001 the GSM (900MHz) services were launched .The Partners Company ltd. provides since July 2001, the Thuraya GMPCS services in Yemen.


Some public telephone services and Internet services are provided (reseller) by private sector (Individuals or Companies) by means of:

Public shops

Public call boxes using prepaid cards

Internet Café shops

The capacity of the telecommunication network as at end of 2002 is as following:

- Equipped fixed line capacity (excluding rural lines) : 708,102

- Working fixed lines (excluding rural lines) : 523,732

- Teledensity (fixed lines) : 2.69%

- No. of radio paging subscribers : 63,000

- No. of TACS mobile subscribers : 28,000

- No. of GSM subscribers : 408,000

- Teledensity for mobile telephone : 2.09%

- No. of Internet direct customers : 9, 027


3. Competition situation in Yemen

The telecommunications sector in Yemen is run by three different structured entities, Public, Private and mixed Sectors.

The Yemen Telecom is a governmental Corporation , self financed and operate under the public sector rules . YT is responsible for the operation , maintenance and development of the national telecommunication networks It has exclusive right to provide fixed domestic telecommunication services .

A modern reliable national telecom network has been established and operated in all governorates of the Republic . All governorates , districts , centers , capitals and main towns are connected to the network . the total number of working fixed lines (excluding the rural lines) reached around 523,732 lines at end 2002 , which represent a telephone penetration rate of 2.69% .The equipped fixed line capacity shall be increased to about 1.2 millions by end of year 2003 ( ongoing contracted projects ) .

Teleyemen and YT established and operate E-TACS mobile system since 1992 .

Both Teleyemen and YT each shared 50% of the revenue of this analogue mobile system . The number of the connected subscribers reached 28,000 in mid 2002 .


In accordance with the policy of the restructuring of the telecom sector in the Republic of Yemen and to encourage the participation of the local and foreign investors in the development process , the Ministry of Telecommunications , issued in July 2000 two licenses to the private sector through international tender for two operators ( local / foreign investors ) " Sabafon company and Spacetel yemen company " to establish and operate GSM networks in Yemen on competitive basis

Both companies operate under contracts contain equivalent terms and conditions and extend for fifteen ( 15 ) years including four years period of exclusivity .

Service roll- out ,coverage and quality during the first four years for each company were set out in the license agreement , as well as the ceiling of the tariffs , based on their offers .The GSM operators have also signed Interconnection Agreements between themselves and with the Incumbent operators .

Both companies installed till end 2002 about 275 BTS stations with a total working lines of 408.000.


Internet services were first introduced in Yemen in 1996 by Teleyemen . The prices charged for Internet services were unaffordable for many people .

The total number of Internet customers ( direct customers ) reached ( 9000 ) in mid 2002 .The Cabinet decided to open the Internet market on competitive basis .The policy of the Ministry of Telecommunications is to provide an affordable Internet services to meet social and educational objectives .

According to the Cabinet resolution , the Ministry of Telecommunications issued a license to the Yemen Telecom to provide the Internet services , aims at managing and regulating this kind of services properly in the country .YT launched the services in April 2002 , where the number of the direct Internet services reached in July 2002 around 3000.The number of working lines in each network is summarized in the table below (till the end of ).


4. Development of Urban Telecommunication Network:

YT has established a plan to modernize and expand its network to deploy the service and to increase the Penetration Rate to 7% in the year 2005.

4.1 : The end of year 2000 :

The number of equipped lines was 511,752 distributed among the provinces as follows :


4.2 : The end of year 2001 :

YT has signed a contract with Alcatel /France to expand the network by adding 164 KL and to replace 6 of the old E10B 181 local exchanges.

The aim of this project is summarized below :

Increasing the number of lines to satisfy the demands of telephone lines in many provinces .

Deploy the telephony service in 28 new sites .

Replacing the remaining 6 E10B 181 exchanges by new versions E10BHC2 exchanges to introduce the new value added services such as CLIP…etc.

Upgrading the whole network to R24 release to adopt V5.2 protocol to enable YT to connect the access network via standard protocol .

Introducing new exchange in Amran to connect the RAU in Amran province and to decrease the traffic towards Sana’a A and Sana’a PTC Exchanges.

Expand the Control units of the exchanges to afford the traffic generated by new lines and the traffic generated by subscribers of GSM operators.

To summarize :

At the end of this project the situation will be :

The total number of E10B 283 exchanges : 14

The total number of HC2 exchanges : 7

The total number of Fetex150 exchanges : 3


At the end of the year 2001 ,the number of lines is distributed among the provinces as follows :


4.3 : The end of year 2002 :

In this year many activities have been done in YT :

Signing a new contract with Alcatel/ France to expand and modernize the network by adding 222 KL.

Signing another contract with Huawei/China to expand the network by adding 278 KL.

Expand the transmission network by introducing STM-16 and making new rings to protect the network.

Accelerating the achievement of the ongoing project (164 KL).

The aim of the above mentioned projects is :

To introduce a new company to open the Yemeni market for competition in the field of switching .

To deploy a new 500 KL to increase the penetration rate and especially to increase the telephony service in provinces with very low penetration rate such as Shabow and Mareb ( the number of lines and sites will be doubled at the end of the project).

Reconfigure the network to put a local switch in every province to be able to connect all RAU belongs to the same province to its local switch.

Expanding the control units of the existing exchanges.

Introducing a very new technology from Alcatel by adding new 9 switches type HC3 which are open for NGN and they are very high capacity besides they are dealing with STM1 directly.

Deploy the service in 103 new sites .

Increasing the capacity of transmission network and replacing the old technology by SDH like analogue microwave and also replacing the PDH by high capacity SDH.

Replacing the satellite communication gradually by using optical fibers.


The achievement of this project started at the beginning of September , 2002.

At the end of the year 2002 ,the number of lines is distributed among the provinces as follows :


Note :

77,478 lines out of 785,580 lines have not been commissioned till the end of the year 2002 ( they were installed ).

Comparison between Equipped Capacities in years 2000 , 2001 and 2002:


4.3 : The current situation (end of September , 2003) :

The following table summarize the achievement of the projects ( 164 KL , 222KL & 278 KL) till the end of September 2003 .


At the end of the September , 2003 ,the number of lines is distributed among the provinces as follows :


6. Conclusion :

YT Tries to increase the penetration rates and deploy the telephony services around all of Yemen using its recourses

, and the aim is not to increase only the number of lines and new sites but also to introduce the latest technology and services .

The achievement of this aim is clear from the previous steps done by YT and also by the new plans for the coming years :

YT replaced all the old E10B switches by very new technology depends on ATM core matrix for the control units and open for NGN .

YT introduced V5.2 protocol in all its exchanges to connect the access networks via this protocol which means saving the cost of the systems.

YT is planning to introduce IN network to enhance its network and to add attractive value added services .

Thank you,