Telecoms & IT

MTN-Syria, one of Syria’s two mobile phone operators, has reported a slight rise in revenues to SYP 10.8 billion and a decline in net profits to SYP 0.9 billion in the first quarter of this year.
A Presidential decree formally established last week the Syrian Electronic Payments Company, an entity that will be tasked with building and managing the infrastructure for an electronic payment system in the country.
The number of subscribers to broadband Internet rose some 77 percent in the last year in Syria, according to the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment.
The Syrian Telecommunications Establishment has reduced the subscription costs to the internet broadband service by some 40 percent.
Syriatel, one of Syria’s two mobile operators, announced an 11 percent decline in its 2011 profits, while its competitor, MTN-Syria, saw its profits increase by the same rate.
The number of subscribers to Syria’s mobile phone networks rose to 11.9 million at the end of the third quarter of this year, according to the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment.
Profits at MTN-Syria during the third quarter of this year fell 7.8 percent compared to the same period of 2010, although overall revenues remained unchanged.
In spite of a sharp increase in the use of internet and other communication tools in the last few years, Syria continues to trail its regional competitors, according to data published by UNCTAD.
The Syrian Telecommunications Establishment, the state-owned operator of the country’s land line phone network, said that its 2010 turnover had reached a record SYP 77 billion, or USD 1.63 billion.
The Syrian Telecommunications Establishment generated revenues of SYP 40 billion in the first half of this year, an annual increase of 14 percent, according to local press information.
Syriatel, the larger of the country’s two mobile phone operators, said that its first half revenues stood at SYP 25.43 billion, stable from the same period of 2010.
MTN-Syria, the Syrian subsidiary of the South African mobile phone operator, said its revenues in the first half of this year reached SYP 20.74 billion, almost unchanged from the same period of 2010.
Syriatel, one of the two mobile phone operators in Syria and the country’s largest private sector corporation by revenues, announced a doubling of its capital to SYP 3.35 billion.
Access to Facebook, Gmail, Twitter and many other social media has been blocked for weeks in Syria, in a measure by the government to limit the supply and transfer of information to the outside world and within the country.
Syria’s ranking in the Network Readiness Index, a survey of the competitiveness of countries around the world in the telecommunications and IT sectors, stood at a dismal 124th in this year’s edition of the survey.


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