The main Yemeni telecommunication companies are Yemen Mobile, Sabafon and MTN. Yemen Mobile is a CDMA2000 network provider founded in 2004 by the Ministry of Telecommunication and is considered the first CDMA network operator in the Middle East. Its system is based on Huawei technologies. In 2012, Yemen Mobile implemented a ZTE network beside the Huawei network, and implemented an LG-Nortel network in eastern parts of the country. Yemen Mobile was established in 2004 as the third wireless operator in Yemen and initially provided circuit switch services besides Internet packages at a speed of 153 kbit/s as a maximum rate. By 2007, it had become an incorporated company and jumped to the top of mobile operators in the country in terms of number of subscribers and coverage.
Sabafon was the first GSM network operator in Yemen, launched in February 2001. The company organisation is represented by sheikh Hamid al-Ahmar as chairman of the company. Its five main partners are: al-Ahmar group, a huge holding active in many fields (bank, oil, power, agencies, franchising, telecommunications, fish, airlines, travel, shoes, clothes, food and beverages), the Bahrein’s telecommunication company Batelco, the Hayel Saeed Anam & Co, a local group of Insurance companies, and Consolidated Constructors International Company SAL, one of the leading construction companies worldwide.
MTN Yemen is part of MTN Group Limited, formerly M-Cell, a South-Africa-based multinational mobile telecommunications company, operating in many African, European and Asian countries. Its head office is in Johannesburg. It operates in over 20 countries, and one-third of its revenues come from Nigeria, where it holds about 35 percent market share. In June 2016 MTN recorded 232.6 million subscribers across its operations.