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Humanitarian crisis in Yemen has also damaged industry – R&M

Humanitarian crisis in Yemen has also damaged industry – R&M

The short-term outlook remains difficult for telecoms operators in Yemen, reports Research & Markets.

The challenging environment which currently exists is a result of the ongoing conflict between opposing parties which flared again in late 2014 and continues today. In 2017 international concern is mounting regarding the growing humanitarian issues in Yemen, with famine and food shortages rising, along with a severe cholera outbreak.

The unrelenting military activity has impacted heavily upon Yemen's economy as well as reportedly causing severe destruction to the country's infrastructure, including telecommunications equipment. Telecoms operators also face the challenge of a market which is inhibited by the lack of an independent regulator.

Over 80% of the population is reportedly in need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen. There have been reports that a significant amount of Yemen's telecoms infrastructure services is no longer operational due to being destroyed or damaged as part of the civil fighting.

In mid-2016, it was announced that TeleYemen had joined a consortium that would see the build-out of a new submarine cable, due for completion in 2018. Known as the Djibouti Africa Regional Express (DARE) initiative, the cable will link Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Somaliland, Yemen and Djibouti.

MTN Yemen had its operating licence renewed until December 2017; however, Yemeni citizens are faced with high telecom service costs along with heavy subsidies for items such as fuel. Prepaid services have been instrumental in encouraging mobile take up by the mass market.