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Communications in Sudan

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Title: Communications in Sudan  
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Communications in Sudan

Teleommunications in Sudan

Pre-privatization era (up to 1994)

Sudan has known telecommunication services as early as 1897. Since that time, the entity in charge of telecommunication had undergone a number of organizational restructuring changes. All forms of entities established were government-owned that remained, for all practical purposes, entities without little or no operational and financial autonomy and little control over their own destiny.

Despite many development plans and efforts, the state of telecommunication sector in the country remained extremely poor up to 1994. By that time, Sudan had one of the lowest penetration rates (0.23%) even by regional standards.

Privatization era (1994 and Beyond)

The Three-Year Economic Salvation Programme (1990–1993),adopted by the Government of Sudan, emphasized the role of telecommunications in the socio-economic development process and called for the removal of the monopolistic environment in the sector and for the involvement of the private sector-whether local or foreign-in the telecommunication sector as well as in other sectors of the economy in an endeavour to overcome the persistent shortfalls in investment and performance. As an outcome of this programme, the structure of the telecommunication sector in the country at present is as follows:

a) The Ministry (Ministry of Information & Communications):in charge of policies and legislations. b) The Regulator (National Telecom Corporation, NTC):in charge of regulatory functions. c) The Licensed operators and service providers: in charge of the operation of licensed networks and of the provision of the services.

Operator/service provider Date of licence TECHNOLOGY Network Capacity Country wide Coverage Subscribers
Zain Sudan 14 August 1996 3.5 G (GSM and WCDMA) Unknown 120 locations 12,000,000+
MTN Sudan 25 October 2003 3G+ (GSM) 1,100,000 35 locations 1,788,237
Sudani One 2 February 2006 3.75G (CDMA) 4,000,000 145 locations 3,000,000
Canar Telecommunications April 2005 3G (CDMA) Unknown Unknown Unknown

Evolution of the telecommunication sector (1994-Sep 2006)

Fixed Services

SUDATEL 19 April 1993 TDM/MPLS 1,493,674 200 locations 411,000

CANAR (Limited Mobility) 10/11/2004 IP-MPLS/CDMA 250,000 5 locations 104,720

Growth of Fixed and Mobile Communications (1994-Sep 2006)

YEARS 1994 2000 2004 2005 2006 FIXED Capacity X 1000 150 416 1500 1500 1500 Subscribers X 1000 64 386 1929 680 515 MOBILE Capacity X 1000 - 20.0 1250 2000 4800 Subscribers X 1000 - 16.7 1050 1866 3370

Internet in Sudan (2006)

Internet services are available via :

  • dial-up  : 56/230 kbit/s
  • Frame Relay : 2 Mbit/s
  • DSL : 4 Mbit/s

Note : No internet services were available before 1996.

(*)Licensed Providers of value-added Services :

  • ISPs  : 21
  • Pre-paid Telephone Cards  :17
  • Voice mail  : 1
  • IVR/SMS  : 47
  • Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL)  : 3
  • Technical Support  : 3

Country code (Top level domain)


International & Regional Connectivity

ARABSAT 1468 Circuits, Arab World

MIDNET 60 Circuits, Africa

INTELSAT 398 Circuits, International

BT E/S 180 Circuits, Internet

Submarine system-SAS 149 systems, International (*)

Optic fiber link to Ethiopia 60 Circuits, Ethiopia

Optic fiber link to Egypt 240 Circuits, Egypt

(*) One System ≡ 30 circuits

Information Society and Universal Service Support

  • An ICT-Fund has been recently enacted to focus on the support the information society requisites and universal service objectives .
  • Some of the programmes supported by this fund are:
  1. Computer for every household
  2. E-government realization
  3. Implementation of on Multi-purpose. Telecentres as one of the most appropriate platforms providing urban, rural and remote areas and businesses with ICT services and applications. Such centers are expected to provide not only the physical access,but also the necessary user support and training to help the addressed populations to effectively exploit and develop ICTs applications.

Other Relevant Information

  • Radio Broadcast station: 22 AM, 1 shortwave (HF)
  • Radio sets: 13.7 million
  • TV Broadcast and Relay stations:95
  • TV sets:6.7 million
  • Internet Service providers (ISPs): 21
  • Internet users : 2.8 million
  • Country Code (Top Level Domain): .sd


The liberalization and privatization of the telecommunication sector, the policies, the regulations and plans adopted by the Government of the Sudan have created a capital–attracting, pro-competitive policy environment that have fostered the build–up of a modern, fully–digital infrastructure in the country and furnished a climate suited to enhance ICTs development nationwide.

The remarkable transformation and achievements witnessed in the Sudanese Telecommunication sector coupled with the growing and diversifying use of the ICT services including those of the Internet and its applications have been a success story that made Sudan to be widely held among the most developed in Africa, if not in the Middle East. But the market is still considered to be virgin and huge investment opportunities exist and shall explode with the full realization of peace and stability throughout the country . (Source: National Telecom Corp. NTC, the ICT regulator).

The telecom sector currently has an annual growth of 30% making it the fastest growing in the world.

See also

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