Telecommunications in Iraq

Telecommunications in Iraq

This article describes the telecommunications infrastructure of Iraq.


Telephone system

The 2003 Iraq war severely disrupted telecommunications throughout Iraq, including international connections. USAID is overseeing the repair of switching capability and the construction of mobile and satellite communications facilities.

Main telephone lines in use: 833,000 (as of 2005)
Number of mobile cellular phones: 9,000,000 (as of 2005)
Domestic telephone network: Repairs to switches and lines have been made. Cellular service has been in place since 2004, and though service is still spotty in some locations, it is expected to improve.
USA Today from 2005 about Iraq and its telecommunications Iraqna, an Orascom Telecom company, is the biggest GSM cellular service provider in Iraq.

International connections:

  • 2 Intelsat satellite earth stations (1 Atlantic Ocean region, 1 Indian Ocean region)
  • 1 Intersputnik satellite earth station (Atlantic Ocean region)
  • 1 Arabsat satellite earth station (inoperative)
  • Coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey (the line to Kuwait is probably not operational)

see Telephone numbers in Iraq

Broadcast stations

Approximately 80 radio broadcast stations and 21 television broadcast stations were in operation as of 2004. There are approximately 4.85 million radios and 1.75 million televisions in Iraq (as of 1997).

During the reign of Saddam Hussein, broadcasting was largely the domain of the Iraqi Broadcasting and Television Establishment (IBTE). The IBTE, in turn, was dominated by the Ministry of Information. The IBTE often broadcast programming favorable towards Saddam Hussein, including music videos praising him and poetry readings when the station was down. Most IBTE transmitters were in the Baghdad area, in addition to a few regional stations. The IBTE aired former CBS reporter Dan Rather's interview with Saddam Hussein as well as the news from Baghdad Bob during the run up to the US invasion of Iraq. After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the IBTE was dissolved. The current regulator is the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission. The current public broadcaster is the Iraqi Media Network,[1] successor to the Coalition Provisional Authority's radio stations and several other radio and television stations. The Iraqi Media Network currently operates the Radio of the Republic of Iraq and the government supported al-Iraqiya TV station, and many private TV stations are available, such as the popular Al Sharqiya. Iraqi radio stations showcase the diversity of popular opinion, from hard-line Islamic fundamentalism to Radio Sawa, politically-oriented stations, and stations featuring content appealing to Kurdish listeners. The BBC World Service broadcasts here, as do AFN and BFBS. Other foreign radio stations operating within Iraq include the UAE's Middle East Broadcasting Centre(MBC), Radio Monte Carlo Moyen-Orient, and Radio France International. Sources: World Radio Television Handbook, 1990, 2003, and 2005; MSN Encarta Online Encyclopedia;the Frontline, a PBS documentary


Under the government of Saddam Hussein, Internet access was tightly controlled and very few people were thought to be online; in 2002 it was estimated that only 25,000 Iraqis used the Internet. With his ouster, Internet usage has become commonplace. Uruklink, originally the sole Iraqi Internet service provider, now faces competition from other ISPs, including broadband satellite Internet access services from both Middle East and European VSAT hubs. The premier military telecom service provider in Iraq is Ts 2.[2] Since 2006 several more companies emerged to provide options to individual Iraqis that made Internet access more affordable, albeit with less bandwidth. One such business is Advanced Technology Systems-Iraq [ATS-Iraq][3]

As of January 2010, The top 4 ISPs in Iraq's capital city of Baghdad are: Halasat telecom , offering speeds up to 2 megabits and it is the fastest internt in Iraq " Earthlink which provides a download speed of up to 5.0 megabits per second (Mb/s) in off-peak times and a download/upload speed of 1024/128 kilobits per second (Kb/s) at peak utilization; (Rose Telecom) provides speeds up to 4/0.7 Mb/s in off-peak times and 512/128 Kb/s at peak; /s in off-peak times; and ATS-Iraq, which targets the home and single user demographic. Because of the reduction in usage and capability of the land line infrastructure since 2004, all Iraqi ISPs use wireless technology to provide Internet service to their customers. The Iraqi people await the repair and equipping of the country's telecommunications infrastructure to allow for land-based Internet access methods, such as Cable and DSL. As of 2010, an estimated 5 million Iraqis have access the Internet. The DNS system's top-level country code for Iraq is .iq

Sources: BBC, Uruklink

Postal system

As part of the post-invasion social and economic infrastructure reconstruction program, a contract worth $55 million was awarded to study the postal system in Iraq. The Postal system of Iraq is produced after that.

See also

Iraqi Post


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