Telecommunications in Tunisia

Telecommunications in Tunisia

Telecommunications in Tunisia includes telephones (fixed and mobile), radio, television, and the Internet. The Ministry of Communication Technologies, a cabinet-level governmental agency, is in charge of organizing the sector.



  • International calling code: 216 (for calls from outside of Tunisia)
  • International call prefix: 00 (for international calls from within Tunisia)
  • Fixed lines: 1,279,000 (2009),[1] 1,214,000 (2005); 654,000 (1997)
  • Mobile cellular: 9,754,000 (2009),[1] 7,200,000 (2007); 1,911,648 (2003); 50,000 (1998)
  • Teledensity: ~100 telephones per 100 persons (fixed-line and mobile-cellular combined)[1]
  • System: Above the African average and continuing to be upgraded; key centers are Sfax, Sousse, Bizerte, and Tunis; telephone network is completely digitized[1]
    • domestic: trunk facilities consist of open-wire lines, coaxial cable, and microwave radio relay
    • international: 5 submarine cables; 2 satellite earth stations - Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and Arabsat; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria and Libya; participant in Medarabtel; 2 international gateway digital switches

Radio and television

See also: Tunisian Radio and Television Establishment (ERTT)
  • Radio stations: AM 7; FM 20; shortwave 2 (1998)
  • Radios: 2.06 million (1997)
  • Television stations: 26 (plus 76 repeaters) (1995)
  • Televisions: 920,000 (1997)
  • Households with television: 91.7% (2003)[2]

Broadcasters are mainly government-controlled; the state-run Tunisian Radio and Television Establishment (ERTT) operates 2 national television networks, several national radio networks, and a number of regional radio stations; 1 TV and 3 radio stations are privately-owned and report domestic news stories directly from the official Tunisian news agency; the state retains control of broadcast facilities and transmitters through L'Office National de la Telediffusion; Tunisians also have access to Egyptian, pan-Arab, and European satellite TV channels (2007)[1]

Prior to the Tunisian revolution there were four private radio stations operating in Tunisia: Mosaïque FM, Chems FM, Jawhara FM and Express FM. In June 2011, following the Tunisian revolution, a recommendation to license twelve new private radio stations was forwarded to the interim Prime Minister. In August 2011 none of the recommendations had been acted upon. However, one of the stations, Radio 6, is broadcasting without a license.[3]


  • Top level domain (TLD): .tn
  • Access: Available throughout the country using a fibre-optic backbone[4]
  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 12 (2005)
  • International bandwidth: 37.5 Gbits/s in 2010, up from 1.3 Gbits/s in 2006[4]
  • Internet users: 3,600,000 (2010),[5] 840,000 (2005); 410,000 (2001)
  • Internet penetration: 33.9% (2010)[5]
  • Broadband Internet subscribers: 372,818 or 3.6% (2009), 43,845 or 0.4% (2006)[6]
  • Facebook subscribers: 2,602,640 (2011)[5]
  • Facebook penetration: 24.5% (2011)[5]
  • Public CyberCafés: 350 (2005)

Information and communications technology

The Tunisian government considers information and communications technology (ICT) an important tool to boost the country’s economy and to adapt the education system to the opportunities available from using Information Technology (IT) as a tool. E-commerce, e-learning, and e-medicine are all areas of strong interest where the Government is seeking international partnership and investments. During the last 15 years, several important efforts were made to invest in ICT and the Internet. Physical infrastructures were modernised. In July 2004 the World Bank approved a $13 million loan to the Tunisian government to support the government effort in accelerating its ICT reforms. Though, beyond the high priority the government is giving to ICT, development of telecommunications in Tunisia has been slower than expected compared to other developing countries in Middle East and North Africa.

2005 World Summit on the Information Society

The first World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was held in Geneva in 2003. Tunisia hosted the second World Summit in November 2005. The Tunisian government took the initiative to host the summit in 1998. It was organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) under the auspices of UNESCO. A declaration of Principles and Plan of Action were approved in order to bridge the digital gap between developing and developed countries within the World Information Society.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Tunisia profile", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 18 October 2011
  2. ^ "Tkunisia > Media", Nation Master, accessed 21 October 2011
  3. ^ "New Private Radios: Authorized but still Voiceless", Latifa Al-Mekbali, 27 August 2011
  4. ^ a b "Tunisia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts",, accessed 21 October 2011
  5. ^ a b c d "Tunisia", Internet World Stats, accessed 21 October 2011
  6. ^ "Tunisia - fixed broadband internet subscribers", Index Mundi, accessed 21 October 2011

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