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Broadbanding the nation: Jordan


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Presentation to the ANZSOG Institute of Governance, University of Canberra, 1 December 2010.

Published in: Education
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Broadbanding the nation: Jordan

  1. 1. Broadbanding the Nation The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Michael de PercyMichael de Percy
  2. 2. Overview • Visited Jordan, Bahrain and Jerusalem • Hosted by Princess Sumaya University for Technology • Built an open-source, bilingual eresearch portal • Worked from Amman, Jerash, and Aqaba • Taught a group of Bedouin divers how to market their diving business using Facebook • Method: Comparative, elite interviews, historical institutionalism
  3. 3. About: Host University Princess Sumaya University for Technology • Non-profit private Jordanian university, owned by the Royal Scientific Society • Professor Abdullah Al-Zoubi, Dean • King Abdullah I School for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research
  4. 4. Model for teaching ESL@UCC
  5. 5. Jordan: Brief Overview • Jordan borders Syria in the north, Israel in the west, Iraq in the east, and Saudi Arabia in the south east • The capital, Amman, is the historical city of Philadelphia, one of the oldest, continuously inhabited cities in the world • Home of Petra, the rose-red city of the Nabateans and the site of Christ’s baptism • Seaport: Aqaba on the Red Sea, adjacent to the Sinai (Egypt) and the south of Israel
  6. 6. Jordan: Brief History (cont) • Biblical land: kingdoms of Edom, Moab, and Jerusalem form part of its early beginnings • Occupied by Romans, Umayyads, Crusaders, Ottomans, & in 20th century, the British • British influence brought about by Great War & the Lawrence of Arabia in Wad-rum, Jordan • British established Transjordan in 1920 with a population of about 350,000 • In 1946, Transjordan became independent of Britain and Abdullah was declared King of Transjordan • Jordan involved in conflict with Israel and PLO until 1994 treaty
  7. 7. Jordan: Statistics
  8. 8. Jordan: Politics Freedom House score: • Political rights rating declined from 5 to 6 • Status from Partly Free to Not Free • King Abdullah II dismissed parliament and announced elections would not be held until end of 2010 • Also, security forces’ influence over political life • Reasons for dismissal: • “The delay would allow the government to rule by decree for at least a year, and it was expected to enact a series of unpopular market liberalization measures as well as a new election law in the parliament’s absence” (Freedom House 2010)
  9. 9. Jordan: Telecoms History • Warring British & Ottoman empires brought first electronic communications technologies to the region • National infrastructure first appeared during early 1930 under supervision of the Post & Telegraph Department • Cable & Wireless assisted in development of telecoms services via international connections • Under Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Ministry of Posts, Telegraph & Telephone was established • 1961: First automatic telephone services – 5,000 lines • 1971: Formalisation of Telecommunications Corporation (TCC) as Government-controlled entity
  10. 10. Jordan: Telecoms History (cont) • 1973-85: System expanded under three successive government investment plans in response to demand • 1987-92: Recession affected Government funding to meet demand, demand increased with Jordanian expatriates returning during 1991 Gulf War • 1993: Government initiated National Telecoms Program to increase penetration from 7.8 to 12 lines per 100, private sector allowed to invest in telecommunications projects • 1994: Fastlink granted first mobile cellular license in Jordan • 1995: Telecoms Law No. 13 provided legal basis for reform and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) established • 1997: Telecoms Corporation (TCC) corporatised as 1st step towards privatisation, renamed Jordan Telecommunications Company (JTC)
  11. 11. Jordan: Telecoms History (cont) • 1999: Duopoly: MobileCom provides mobile cellular services • 2000: Jordan joins WTO – obliged to liberalise industry by 2004 • 2000: 40% of JTC shares sold to consortium led by France Telecom and Arab Bank, 8% to Social Security Corporation, 1% to Jordan Telecom Company employees • 2002: Ministry of Post and Communications renamed "Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MoICT)“ • 2002: Independence of TRC to regulate telecoms & ICT services • 2002: 10.49% of Jordan Telecom shares sold in a public offering • 2003: Government policy to end duopoly of mobile phone providers • 2004: Public consultations on telecoms liberalisation • 2005: Fixed market open to competition • 2008: Government shares in JTC sold & TRC announces 3G plans • 2009: JTG granted 3G licence and service launched in March 2010
  12. 12. Jordan: Telecoms History (cont) Jordan: Telecoms Today
  13. 13. Jordan: Telecoms Today • Major players include: Orange (France Telecom), Batelco, Zain, Fastlink, Umniah, & Xpress • Combination of ADSL and wireless (Wimax) • Personal experience of broadband via ADSL and wireless was excellent • Additional 1GB download in Aqaba = $2 • Additional 1GB download in Palmerston = N/A
  14. 14. Jordan: Telecoms Today • Major Institutions: • MoICT: Competitive ICT & postal sectors that enhance quality of life & accelerate socio- economic development throughout the Kingdom • TRC: Efficient, effectively competitive, accessible & affordable ICT & postal services • NITC: To utilise national IT resources of the public sector and maximise its contribution to economic growth and welfare of Jordan
  15. 15. Jordan: Telecoms Today
  16. 16. Jordan: Telecoms Today
  17. 17. Jordan: Telecoms Today
  18. 18. Jordan: Telecoms Today
  19. 19. Jordan: Statistics • Wimax providers 17% of market share • 4 major competitors in mobile market • ADSL = 11.7% of total households • Of ADSL subscribers, 13.3% share it with neighbours • 28% of those sharing share the ADSL connection with two more households • 22.7% with three additional households and 29.3% with one additional household
  20. 20. Jordan: Early Findings • Considering GDP per capita approx 13 times less than Australia, Jordanian broadband services are very good • Consumer affordability is the biggest issue, not lack of infrastructure • Interesting feature: regulators have been “captured” by consumers – more like the ACCC than the ACMA • Industry finds it difficult to secure inter-connection agreements via TRC (although 17 signed in 2009) • Interesting to overcome the ethnocentric view of institutions and how these function in a developing market economy • Interesting to see how the regulator “fills consumer gap” • Various industry “taxes” add up substantially