New subsea cables increase bandwidth for Côte d’Ivoire

New subsea cables increase bandwidth for Côte d’Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire has two competing fixed network operators though the sector is dominated by Orange Group’s local unit, Orange CI. The company is also the dominant player in the mobile market, followed by MTN and then Moov.

In recent years the government has aimed to develop a telecom sector with a stronger focus on convergence, and to this end mobile licences were renewed in early 2016 as universal services licences.

The mobile sector is the strongest sector in the market overall, accounting for the vast majority of voice and data connections. The three MNOs provide effective competition. The smaller licensees KoZ (operated by the Lebanese Comium Group), Green Network (backed by Libya’s LAP Green before becoming part of LPTIC), Warid Telecom and Globacom have either folded, had their licenses evoked, or failed to launch services.

The fixed internet and broadband sectors are underdeveloped. Historically, this was partly the legacy of high international bandwidth costs caused by the incumbent telco having had monopoly access to the only international submarine cable serving the country. This was addressed with the landing of a second cable in November 2011. Access to additional cables, including MainOne’s branch line completed in September 2019, has dramatically increased internet bandwidth during the last two years. This has allowed for significant reductions in retail pricing for fixed and fixed wireless broadband services and has also encouraged investment in FttP networks by Vivendi Africa.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Orange Bank Africa launches in Côte d’Ivoire;
  • Vivendi Africa launches its FttP-based Canal Box service;
  • New tax introduced for money transfers via mobile phones;
  • Main One completes connection to submarine cable and associated new data centre;
  • Government further tightens SIM card registration rules;
  • MTN Côte d’Ivoire commits to CFA120 billion network upgrade investment;
  • Report update includes regulator's market data to March 2020, telcos' operating data to Q2 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

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Developing Telecoms market report summaries are produced in partnership with BuddeCom, the world’s largest continually updated online telecommunications research service.

The above article is a summary of the following BuddeCom report:

Report title: Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Edition: September 2020

Analyst: Henry Lancaster/Peter Lange

Number of pages: 124

Companies mentioned in the report: Côte d’Ivoire Telecom (CI-Telecom), MTN CI, Arobase Telecom, Orange CI (France Telecom), Comium CI (KoZ), Etisalat (Moov), LapGreen (Green Network, GreenN, Oricel), Warid Telecom, Globacom, CORA de Comstar, Aircomm CI, Mainstreet Technologies, Africa Online, AfNet, Aviso, Globe Access Internet (Omnes), Intel Afrique, Solaris Telecom, Africom, Afripa Telecom (Atlantique Telecom), Comete, Globe Access, Monicash.

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