Burkina Faso - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

Executive summary

Airtel launches an m-health insurance service, following success in Ghana

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Burkina Faso’s telecommunications market. Subjects covered include:

  • Key statistics;
  • Market and industry overviews;
  • The impact of the global economic crisis;
  • Regulatory environment and structural reform;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Internet and broadband development and pricing;
  • Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).
  • Broadband and mobile data services and pricing trends;
  • Mobile Average Revenue per User (ARPU).

Despite fresh investment in Burkina Faso’s telecom sector, new technologies have been slow to take hold. Delays in the development of a 3G service have hobbled the potential of broadband services. Nevertheless, the poor state of fixed-line networks have meant that in recent years the number of fixed-line subscribers has fallen steadily as customers migrate to the limited services available from the three mobile network operators. The fixed-line incumbent Onatel, majority-owned by Maroc Telecom, operates the country’s fixed-line network, a CDMA2000 wireless network, a fibre optic backbone and one of three GSM mobile networks, Telmob.

Mobile telephony has experienced strong growth since competition was introduced in 2000 by Celtel/Zain (now Bharti Airtel) and Telecel International (now Moov). Although market penetration remains below the African average, is continues to grow steadily, including a 30% growth in the number of subscribers in 2012 alone.

Onatel’s FasoNet is the country’s leading internet service provider, dominating the broadband market with its ADSL and EV-DO offerings. Penetration rates in this sector are still extremely low and services remain expensive despite some price cuts since 2011. Being landlocked, Burkina Faso for long depended on expensive satellite links for its international bandwidth, though in recent years connectivity has been facilitated by transit fibre links through neighbouring countries which have access to the region’s international fibre optic submarine cables: the four submarine cables which land in Ghana have reduced the cost of international bandwidth. A number of Burkina Faso’s other neighbouring countries also have access to multiple international cables. However, consumers and the country’s entire economy will only benefit from lower broadband prices if Onatel passes these cost savings on to them and also to other ISPs on the wholesale level.

The mobile operators have entered the underdeveloped internet sector by offering mobile data services using GPRS and EDGE technology, but third generation (3G) mobile broadband technology has not yet been introduced except for Onatel’s EV-DO fixed-wireless service. An international tender for a new combined fixed and mobile licence was unsuccessful in 2010, but a much-delayed fourth mobile licence and 3G licences for all operators are expected in 2014, with Viettel emerging as a bidder early in the year.

Estimated market penetration rates in Burkina Faso’s telecoms sector – end-2014 (e)

Market
Penetration rate
Mobile
68%
Fixed
0.7%
Internet users
5.3%

(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Key developments:

SkyVision deploys a telecom network for Bank of Africa; Airtel and MTN launch money transfer service between Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast; regulator imposes fines on MNOs for breaches of network coverage and QoS conditions; Finance Act 2014 mandates a 5% tax on telcos; auction to licence a fourth mobile player was scrapped by the government due to poor market interest Maroc Telecom inaugurates new telecom cable; international internet bandwidth increases to 1.1Gb/s; Maroc Telecom deploys new cable linking Burkina Faso to Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Niger; mobile penetration grows on the back of poor fixed-line infrastructure; Onatel reports a 6% growth in revenue for 2013; reports includes the regulator’s annual report for 2012 and market statistical updates to end-2013; telcos’ financial and operating data to Q2 2014, market developments into 2014.

Companies covered in this report:

Onatel, Telmob, Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), Moov (Telecel, Etisalat), FasoNet, ZCP, Delgi, Cenatrin, CFAO Technologies, River Telecom, Net Access, Maroc Telecom, Vivendi.

Henry Lancaster

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
    • 2.1 Country overview
  • 3. Telecommunications market
    • 3.1 Market analysis
  • 4. Regulatory environment
    • 4.1 Historic background
    • 4.2 Regulatory authority
      • 4.2.1 ARCE (formerly Artel)
    • 4.3 NICI development plan
    • 4.4 West African common regulatory framework 2005
    • 4.5 Market liberalisation
      • 4.5.1 Second fixed-line and fourth mobile licence
    • 4.6 Universal Service Fund
  • 5. Fixed-network operators in Burkina Faso
    • 5.1 Onatel
      • 5.1.1 Services
      • 5.1.2 Privatisation
      • 5.1.3 IPO
      • 5.1.4 National telecom network
      • 5.1.5 Fixed-line statistics
      • 5.1.6 Wireless Local Loop (WLL), CDMA2000 1x
      • 5.1.7 National fibre backbone
    • 5.2 International infrastructure
  • 6. Internet market
    • 6.1 Overview
      • 6.1.1 Internet statistics
    • 6.2 Public Internet access locations
    • 6.3 Low-cost computers
    • 6.4 ISP market
      • 6.4.1 Onatel (FasoNet)
      • 6.4.2 Other ISPs
    • 6.5 E-government
  • 7. Broadband market
    • 7.1 Overview
    • 7.2 ADSL
    • 7.3 EV-DO
    • 7.4 WiMAX
    • 7.5 Broadband via satellite
  • 8. Mobile communications
    • 8.1 Overview of Burkina Faso’s mobile market
      • 8.1.1 Mobile statistics
    • 8.2 Major mobile operators
      • 8.2.1 Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel)
      • 8.2.2 Telmob (Onatel)
      • 8.2.3 Moov (Telecel, Etisalat)
    • 8.3 Mobile data services
      • 8.3.1 SMS
      • 8.3.2 MMS
      • 8.3.3 GPRS, EDGE
    • 8.4 Third generation (3G)
    • 8.5 M-payment
    • 8.6 Mobile satellite services
    • 8.7 M-Health
  • 9. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Burkina Faso – 2013 (e)
  • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2013 (e)
  • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2013
  • Table 4 – Internet and social media user statistics – 2013 (e)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2013 (e)
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 7 – Onatel subscribers by service – 2010- 2014
  • Table 8 – Onatel financial data – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 9 – Historic - Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Burkina Faso – 1999 - 2004
  • Table 10 – Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Burkina Faso – 2005 - 2014
  • Table 11 – Burkina Faso's international internet bandwidth – 2002 - 2013
  • Table 12 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Burkina Faso – 1999 - 2004
  • Table 13 – Internet users and penetration rate in Burkina Faso – 2005 - 2014
  • Table 14 – Fixed-line internet subscribers – 2006 - 2014
  • Table 15 – Mobile internet subscribers – 2011 - 2012
  • Table 16 – FasoNet (Onatel) internet subscribers – 2006 - 2014
  • Table 17 – ADSL (Onatel) subscribers in Burkina Faso – 2005 - 2013
  • Table 18 – FasoNet (Onatel) ADSL pricing – 2010 vs. 2013
  • Table 19 – Wireless broadband subscribers in Burkina Faso – 2007 - 2013
  • Table 20 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Burkina Faso – 1999 - 2004
  • Table 21 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Burkina Faso – 2005 - 2014
  • Table 22 – Mobile operator market share of subscribers – 2011 - 2012
  • Table 23 – Bharti Airtel mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2013
  • Table 24 – Onatel mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2014
  • Table 25 – Onatel mobile services revenue – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 26 – Onatel annualised subscribers and ARPU – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 27 – Telecel mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2013
  • Chart 1 – Onatel subscribers by service – 2010- 2014
  • Chart 2 – Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Burkina Faso – 2005 – 2014
  • Chart 3 – Internet users and penetration rate in Burkina Faso – 2005 – 2014
  • Chart 4 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2014
  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Burkina Faso
  • Exhibit 2 – West African common regulatory framework 2005

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