According to the Kurdistan Region's Ministry of Transportation and Communications, there are currently 21 companies providing internet services in Kurdistan. The sector is divided into fixed line operators (that lease out their network but at the same time offer internet services), companies selling the internet, wireless internet service providers (mobile and WiMax) and satellite ISPs.
According to the Kurdistan Region's Ministry of Transportation and Communications, there are currently 21 companies providing internet services in Kurdistan.
The sector is divided into fixed line operators (that lease out their network but at the same time offer internet services), companies selling the internet, wireless internet service providers (mobile and WiMax) and satellite ISPs.
The internet sector in Kurdistan is supervised by the central government (CMC). However, in reality, before the fall of the regime in 2003 some licenses had been issued by the KRG. Those became de facto licenses with CMC as well.
It's not a nationwide license; however, CMC doesn't challenge those licenses. At the same time, the central government so far hasn't been that interested in the internet market. What they have focused on is the mobile telephone market.
For example, there are no new mobile operators in Kurdistan that have a license from the MOC because that's a red line with the CMC.
The Ministry of Communication maintained that Internet Service Providers (ISP) are officially registered by the ministry and their services as well as their performance is closely inspected by the government. Any complaint should be handled by the Ministry.
According to Kurdish Globe, "people in Kurdistan pay for and receive internet services from 20 different local and regional companies, based mostly in either Erbil or Sulaymaniyah. The Erbil-based companies rarely serve Sulaymaniyah and vice versa."
According to Reuters, "while mobile telephone penetration is now about 78 percent, only an estimated 2 percent of Iraq's population of about 33 million people has access to broadband, according to the GSM Association, a global body representing nearly 800 mobile operators."
A prominent French-based consultancy, reported that the overall penetration rate in Iraq was about 11 to 12%, with Kurdistan having about 20% penetration rate.
Two major companies that provide internet services to other smaller companies (lease out network) in Kurdistan are Newroz Telecom in Erbil and Duhok, and KurdTel in Sulaymaniyah and the Garmian region.
There are actually two fixed line ISPs in Sulaymaniyah right now; Goran net and the other company is called Wide Telecom. However, Wide Telecom is still in the process of building their network.
According to Rudaw, "the price of internet services is not regulated by the Kurdish government, which in turn makes some companies play with the fees based on the promise of better services. But the Ministry of Communication told Rudaw that there are plans to fix the prices in a near future."
The prices nevertheless remain high when compared to the prices of internet in the West. According to Kawa Junad, CEO of Newroz Telecom, the largest and leading internet service provider in Kurdistan and Iraq, prices have gone down significantly in Kurdistan, but "unfortunately in Iraq, this is still the case. Based on that connection, there was a huge discount on the bandwidth given to companies and subscribers at that time. 1 Mb previously cost more than US $1,400 and now it only cost US $20. Without that interconnection, it would not have been possible. If you're in Iraq, 1 Mb is still US $1,200 - this is the most expensive rate in the world, more expensive than Cuba, and perhaps very few people know that. It is because in Iraq they still have a monopoly and they don't allow any private sector company to make deals with neighboring countries, including connecting to Kurdistan."
Mr. Junad adds that the internet penetration rate in Kurdistan stands at around 10%. He says "...and the internet penetration in Iraq is only 2%. Even Bahrain has more internet subscribers than the Iraq. If you see internationally that the internet penetration of Iraq is 8%, it's only because of Kurdistan. We just reached 10% and our goal is to reach 35% and probably 50% by the end of 2015."
The trend in the industry is clear: deployment of the 4G (LTE) that will increase the speeds of wireless internet, incremental improvements in services, greater competition, diversification, and reduction of prices. Furthermore, given the delays in the deployment of 3G services and awarding of the spectrum; internet and internet service providers are well positioned to capitalize on this inablility to compete with large established telecoms like Korek Telecom and AsiaCell.
The development of the internet infrastructure is crucial. Ghada Gebera, CEO of Korek Telecom says: "ICT is a key component of infrastructure. It is as vital as roads, water and electricity. For every 10% mobile market penetration, you increase the GDP by 1%. The potential for Internet is even higher. For every 10,000 connections, you create at least 80 jobs. The effects are immediate. It stimulates start-ups. These start-ups eventually become profitable SMEs that contribute to the GDP, as is evident in developed economies."
List of Top Internet Service Providers in Kurdistan
With more than 100 000 subscribers, Newroz telecom has emerged as the largest integrated internet service provider and telecom group in Kurdistan. The company offers a multitude of the best quality services for individuals and companies in Kurdistan like dedicated ADSL, Point to Point, Shared ADSL, VPN, HiMaz, Reber Quick. The company is currently working on the deployment of 4G (LTE) networ in the Kurdistan Region. The company also leases its fiber optic network and offers wireless internet.
During the few years of its age; Allai Newroz Telecom has completed a number of projects listed below:
Laying over 1,500 km of fiber optic cable connecting Kurdistan region and Iraq to the whole world.
Developing and expanding the landline PSTN network in Erbil and Dohuk cities of Kurdistan region.
Developing and expanding the fixed wireless network which covers Erbil and Duhok governorates very well.
Built and launched a new CDMA network in Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah cities of Kurdistan region.
Launched a state of the art wireless internet network using EVDO technology covering Erbil, Duhok and Sulaymaniyah.
Building and activating High speed broadband ADSL network in Erbil & Duhok.
Offers wireless intenet in Erbil area. EION Wireless, a Canadian manufacturer of broadband wireless products announced the completion of deployment of the first phase of Star4G platform is ideal for large service providers such as TarinNet that are starting to build out and launch 16e mobile WiMAX networks targeting residential and business users with data, voice over IP and video-on-demand services and with Video Surveillance over WiMAX services for security oriented projects across Northern Iraq.
Exabyt is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) located in Ainkawa, the central district of Erbil Kurdistan. The company started its business operation last quarter of 2006 with the offer of internet solutions.
Wego Broadband Internet Services
WEGO is true mobile wide area broadband service based on 4G WiMAX technology provided by 7 Net Layers. WiMAX technology offers individual, residential, and corporate users high speed Internet connection whenever, wherever. You are connected by simply connecting one of Wegoterminals to your notebook or Desktop PC.
Within the last three years and since its very beginning NT has set an ultimate goal to build up state-of-the-art telecom infrastructure in Kurdistan region of Iraq. NT saves no efforts to ease the life of its customers and delivers a wide-range of carrier services including voice, IPL, and IP transit and wide a la carte service portfolio.
Goran net (Sulaymaniyah)
Goran net established in 2004 is a privately-owned company, located in Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan, Iraq.
The first company in Sulaymaniyah to present ADSL, our aim is innovation and customer satisfaction. Goran net currently operates the largest wired broadband network in kurdistan, and also provides the latest state of the art internet technology to businesses, individuals, public institutions, and non-profitable organizations.
Wide Telecom (Sulaymaniyah)
Wide Telecom is a Kurdish company dedicated to building a nationwide wireless telecommunications network offering carrier grade internet services.
Tishknet internet services
Tishknet Company is one of the modern telecommunication companies in the fields of internet and communication that serves the Region. It is also one of the advanced companies in Kurdistan region of Iraq and is soon going to get license to extend itself gradually toward all the cities of Iraq. Tishknet was established in 2011 in Sulaymaniyah with a team of full efficiency and quality of exerting all efforts to provide a variety of systems in (WiMAX) technology, which is one of the most modern advanced technologies used and interested by developed countries.
BruskNet - WiMAX network in the city of Sulaymaniyah
Brusknet is internet service provider in Iraq/Sulaymaniyah provides internet via Wimax technology. Busknet started as a full blown and enriched internet service provider providing service with minimum cost and best quality.
Fanoos Telecom, official company name (Midya Telecom), is an Iraqi company incorporated in Sulaymaniyah. The company is offering fixed wireless telephony and limited internet services in Sulaymaniyah, Erbil, Duhok, Kirkuk, Mosul, Diyala, Tikrit and surrounding towns and villages.
Kurdtel communications is the first leading company in Iraq & Kurdistan to provide fixed telecommunication services widely. KurdTel was established in 2001 as a joint effort between the Kurdistan Regional Government & the private sector to operate and develop Sulaymaniyah PSTN to introduce all the services for subscribers efficiently, effectively & to maintain a long term partnership.
List of Top Satellite-Based Interent Service Provider in Iraq & Kurdistan
Operating throughout Iraq, Delta Communications is the leading name in the importation and distribution of wireless technology and an official distributor for Yahsat.Al Yah Satellite Communications Company or Yahsat, is a private company owned by Mubadala, an investment arm of the Government of Abu Dhabi.