Telecoms & IT

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.
Rami Makhlouf, one of Syria’s most prominent businessmen, has no plans to sell his stake in Syriatel or leave the country, according to statements reported in the local press.
Internet service through the 3G mobile network resumed in Syria on Monday May 16 after it was interrupted for more than 10 days.
The Syrian Government has postponed indefinitely the auction for the award of a third GSM license planned for April 27 on the back of the current unrest gripping the country.