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Wireless will dominate in Iraq

Wireless is expected to dominate voice, data and internet services markets in Iraq due to security concerns and the need for rapid, low-cost deployment, according to IDC. For instance, mobile GSM will substitute fixed-line PSTN.

Wireless is expected to dominate voice, data, and internet services markets in Iraq due to security concerns and the need for rapid, low-cost deployment. According to analysts at IDC, mobile GSM will substitute fixed-line PSTN, while VSAT, wireless LAN, broadband fixed wireless, satellite, microwave links, and free space optics are likely to dominate data and internet access connections.

For voice services, the shortage of fixed-line telephony service across the country has heightened the demand for mobile telephony in Iraq. The research firm says this has been reflected not only in the encouraging uptake for satellite handsets across the country, but also in the increase in the usage pattern for these satellite handsets.

For internet access and data services, IDC contends that wireless technologies will also dominate as international bandwidth for internet access services is now almost exclusively over satellite gateways, and multinationals and NGOs are using broadband satellite and VSAT for data and internet connectivity.

However, despite its observations and predictions, IDC also states that market conditions within Iraq may change rapidly, due to the ongoing political instability in the region.

"The high degree of uncertainty surrounding the political, economic, and security developments in Iraq renders inappropriate any single set of forecasts for the telecommunications markets of this country," says Mohsen Malaki, senior analyst at IDC CEMA's telecommunications group.

"The evolution of the security situation in Iraq should be the central variable for any scenario analysis of this market," he adds.

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