A new report from Companies and Markets provides detailed analyses of the telecoms market in Chad. Failure to secure a national backbone infrastructure as well as international fibre access to support efficient broadband services are two factors identified as crucial if Chad is to progress.
Despite becoming Africa's latest exporter of oil, Chad has one of the least developed telecoms markets in the world. Penetration rates in all market sectors - fixed, mobile and Internet - are well below African averages. This contradiction is stressed in Chad - Telecoms, Mobile and Internet, the most recent report from Companies and Markets.
The mobile sector is growing fast under competition between two foreign-owned networks Zain (formerly Celtel), and Millicom (Tigo). The national telco and fixed-line operator, Sotel Tchad (ST), was participating in another mobile network in partnership with Orascom Telecom until it ceased operations in 2004 over legal disputes between the shareholders.
ST is rolling out a CDMA2000 fixed-wireless system that enables it to potentially re-enter the mobile sector. The technology also holds the potential to provide broadband services with an upgrade to the EV-DO standard. Plans exist for privatisation of the company but a time schedule has not yet been announced. The mobile networks currently provide the only broadband-like services in the country apart from direct satellite access. Third generation mobile services have not yet even been introduced.
Chad still lacks a national backbone infrastructure and international fibre access to support efficient broadband services. All long-distance connections, national and international, are currently made via satellite. However, funding from the World Bank agreed in mid 2009 for the Central African Backbone (CAB) project may now finally bring fibre to the country.
Key highlights of the report are:
- a market analysis for 2009;
- benchmarking with other countries in the region in terms of GDP, mobile, fixed and Internet market penetration;
- the impact of the global economic crisis;
- profiles of major players;
- the Central African Backbone (CAB) and other fibre projects; and
- ARPU trends in local and foreign currency;
- government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
- market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
- telecoms operators, privatisation, acquisitions, and new licences;
- Internet and broadband development;
- mobile data services; and
- Average Revenue per User (ARPU).