SabaFon recovery underway

11 Sep 2012

Reuters reports that Yemeni cellco SabaFon has begun to recover after suffering damage to its infrastructure during the revolution in 2011. SabaFon claimed to have come under attack from government forces during the conflict, thanks to the political allegiance of Hamid Al-Ahmar, one of the major shareholders in the cellco: around a quarter of its facilities were reportedly attacked with gunfire, shelling and rocket-propelled grenades. The damage resulted in a slump in subscriber figures, though it has since begun to recover. A spokesperson for the company said that it had lost almost one million subscribers, but had since won back around 200,000. They went on to add that the situation was ‘improving slowly’ but was still facing difficulties, as some confiscated equipment was still to be recovered and some important sites could not be repaired as they were in areas controlled by the Republican Guard, a rebel branch of the armed forces led by the son of ousted president Saleh. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database reports that SabaFon’s customer base fell from a peak of 4.10 million in September 2011 to 3.40 million in March 2012 before climbing back to 3.54 million three months later. At present, the cellco claims to have 3.65 million wireless customers.

Yemen, SabaFon