Country Listing

Jordan Table of Contents



The Jordan Telecommunications Corporation (TCC), a wholly government-owned semi-autonomous entity under the Ministry of Communications, was in charge of providing domestic and international telecommunications services in 1988. Since 1971 the TCC had exercised a monopoly over all forms of public telecommunications, including telephone, telex, telegraph, facsimile, and television transmissions. The TCC was profitable and a net contributor to the budget. In 1988 the government was moving forward cautiously with plans to privatize the company in stages-- using as its model the privatization of British Telecom--and planned eventually to sell all or part of the equity to public stockholders.

In the 1980s, TCC increased the number of connected telephone lines by almost 20 percent per year while introducing technological improvements such as digital switching and radio microwave links. International direct dialing was introduced in 1982; in 1989, Jordan had one Atlantic Ocean International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) channel, one Indian Ocean INTELSAT channel, and one Arab Satellite Organization (ARABSAT) channel. In 1988, more than 200,000 direct exchange lines were in service, with about 85,000 applicants on a waiting list, so that only about 70 percent of demand was satisfied. A private citizen waited about five years for a line, but most businesses could obtain a line quickly by paying a surcharge to avoid the waiting list. Line density in 1988 was 7 percent of the population, better than in most countries with similar per capita GNP. Telephone service was concentrated in Amman, where more than 60 percent of all lines were installed. Altogether, about 75 percent of Jordanian villages and cities had access to telephone service. Despite 12 percent forecast annual demand growth, line density was expected to grow to 12 percent of the population by the early 1990s because of a planned US$340 million investment in new equipment and services. Local calls in Amman were free and were subsidized by exorbitant international rates. In 1987, however, because of protests by businesses and private citizens, international rates were cut drastically (up to 50 percent, depending on the country called).

Data as of December 1989