Mali - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

LONDON, Nov. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Download the full report:

Many settlements are hard to reach, making them difficult and expensive to service with effective backhaul infrastructure. Security issues have also been a concern, leading to delays in the national backbone network being built by Huawei.

Compounding these difficulties is the fact that underinvestment in fixed-line networks has meant that telecom infrastructure is barely adequate to serve consumer needs in most towns, and is largely absent in many areas of the country. In addition, a combination of poverty, high illiteracy and low PC use has led to a very low take-up of fixed-line internet services. In common with many other countries in the region, Mali has taken to mobile networks for voice and data services.

Orange Mali entered the market as the second mobile and fixed-line operator in 2003 and soon became the dominant provider. The duopoly with national telco, Sotelma, continues though Alpha Telecom is expected to launch mobile services after many years of delay. A fourth mobile licence is also being considered by the government in a bid to improve market competition.

Mobile penetration in Mali is relatively high, and given the sparse nature of the fixed-line infrastructure there is considerable potential for mobile broadband services. Nevertheless, Mali's landlocked location makes it dependent on neighbouring countries for international bandwidth, which has kept prices high. Improvements in this sector can be expected from the recent arrival of several new competitive international submarine fibre optic cables in the region, while the government in late 2017 set in motion plans for a local Internet Exchange Point.

Key developments:
Orange Mali pays XOF100 million for renewed 15-year concession;
Alpha Telecom Mali expecting commercial mobile services to start by end-2017;
Government considers awarding a fourth mobile licence;
Huawei granted extension to complete the national fibre backbone network;
Vodafone Wholesale completes its second fibre-optic network connecting Ghana to Mali and Niger;
Orange Mali and Ecobank develop m-banking service;
Sonatel begins project to upgrade its network infrastructure;
Report update includes the regulator's market data for 2016, telcos' operating data to Q3 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Société des Télécommunications du Mali (Sotelma, Maroc Telecom, Vivendi), Orange Mali (Ikatel, Orange Group), Monaco Telecom, Planor Afrique, Afribone, CEFIB, Datatech.

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