18 October 2019
Libya’s civil war has seriously crippled the country’s economy and disrupted its telecom industry, according to a new report.
Libya – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses 2019, conducted by Research and Markets found that much of the telecom infrastructure has been destroyed or stolen, including about a quarter of the country’s mobile tower sites.
“Reconstruction efforts continue to be stymied by political and military disturbances which affect much of the country, while with two opposing administrations, in Tripoli and Tobruk, there is no consensus as to how to rebuild infrastructure on a national scale despite attempts to reach a political solution.”
It further found that “due to these difficulties and of heightened national security issues”, telecom services have been regularly disrupted, particularly in the eastern region of the country.
“In June 2017 mobile and landline services were restored in Sirte after having been disconnected by Islamic State (a group ejected from the city after a two-year occupation),” the report continued. “As a security measure, the main mobile network provider Libyana in July 2017 disconnected SIM cards owned by foreigners, on the basis that criminals and radical groups had been using the company’s network for their activities. Reregistering a SIM card now requires proof of ID.”
A new Telecommunications Law has been drafted and the Libyan government is in the process of establishing an independent regulatory authority.
Since the downfall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and the old regime during the Libyan Civil War in 2011, 25 ISPs have already been licensed to compete with the government-owned former monopoly, as well as 23 VSAT operators.