Cote d Ivoire (Ivory Coast) - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights, Statistics and Forecasts

Executive summary

Submarine infrastructure improves Ivorian international bandwidth, encouraging broadband development

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

  • One of the most competitive mobile market in the region;
  • The impact of the recent political and economic crisis;
  • Key statistics;
  • Market and industry overviews;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;
  • Internet and broadband development and growth;
  • Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);
  • Broadband pricing trends – ADSL, EV-DO, WiMAX, 3G/HSPA;
  • Average Revenue per User (APRU).

Civil unrest following disputed presidential elections led to a contraction of Cote d’Ivoire's economy in 2011, but GDP growth reached 9.8% in 2012 and is expected to have reached 8% for 2013.

Although it has two competing fixed network operators, the country's telecommunications sector is dominated by mobile telephony, with South Africa’s MTN and France Telecom-owned Orange leading the market. The launch of three more GSM networks between 2006 and 2008 – Moov (owned by Etisalat of the UAE until it was sold to Maroc Telecom in May 2014), KoZ (operated by the Lebanese Comium Group) and Oricel Green Network (backed by Libya's LAP Green) – has accelerated the already fast growth and pushed mobile market penetration well above the African average. Two additional operators have been licensed and are preparing to enter the market, but problems with frequency spectrum allocation have caused delays. Some consolidation can be expected in this crowded market in the future.

The internet and broadband market has remained underdeveloped due to the high cost of international bandwidth, caused by a monopolisation of access to the only international fibre optic submarine cable serving the country until recently. This is now beginning to change, following the landing of a second cable in November 2011, with up to three more to follow in the near future. Significant reductions in retail pricing for some of the existing ADSL, WiMAX and EV-DO wireless broadband services can already be observed. The biggest game changer, however, will be the recent introduction of 3G mobile services.

Following years of delays, the first 3G licence was finally awarded in March 2012 and the first 3.5G mobile broadband service has been launched, offering up to 42Mb/s using HSPA+ technology. The extensive geographical reach of the mobile networks will now make the internet accessible to a much wider part of the population. With a national backbone network including more than 20,000km of fibre optic cable, Cote d'Ivoire is in a good position to translate these improvements in competition and infrastructure into a booming broadband market and digital economy.

Estimated market penetration rates in Cote d’Ivoire’s telecoms sector – end-2013

Market
Penetration rate
Mobile
83%
Fixed
1.2%
Internet
2.6%

(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Market highlights:

MTN Ivory Coast planning to invest XOF120 billion to upgrade its network through to 2017; VipNet planning to launch a TD-LTE service by end-2014; Etisalat sells its Moov branded businesses in Benin, the Central African Republic, Gabon, the Ivory Coast, Niger and Togo to Maroc Telecom for $650 million; continuing high GDP growth sustaining telecom sector into 2014; competition in international bandwidth market leading to lower broadband prices; 3G licences finally awarded, first HSPA+ mobile broadband service launched; consolidation in the crowded market supported by the government, suggesting that three smaller operators merge; government sustains plan to sell a 28% stake in the incumbent telco CI-Telecom; for about $9 million; MTN builds a new data centre; WiMAX operator YooMee begins deploying an LTE network as it switches technologies for its African markets; government increases tax on telcos to 30%; SIM card registration ordered to be processed again following large scale fraud; report includes the regulator’s market data for 2013, telcos’ operating data to Q1 2014, market developments to June 2014.

Companies covered in this report:

Cote 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.

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 Overview
    • 4.2 Regulatory authorities
      • 4.2.1 Autorité de Regulation des Télécommunications de Côte d’Ivoire (ARTCI)
    • 4.3 Interconnection
    • 4.4 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 4.5 Universal service fund
  • 5. Fixed network operators in Côte d’Ivoire
    • 5.1 Fixed-line statistics
    • 5.2 CI-Telecom
      • 5.2.1 Privatisation
      • 5.2.2 Network infrastructure
      • 5.2.3 Wireless Local Loop (WLL), CDMA-2000
    • 5.3 Arobase Telecom (MTN)
  • 6. International infrastructure
    • 6.1 Submarine fibre cables
      • 6.1.1 Glo-1
      • 6.1.2 Main One
      • 6.1.3 ACE
      • 6.1.4 WACS
    • 6.2 Terrestrial fibre
    • 6.3 Satellite
  • 7. Internet market
    • 7.1 Overview
      • 7.1.1 Internet statistics
    • 7.2 Public Internet access locations
    • 7.3 ISP market
      • 7.3.1 MTN Business (AfNet)
      • 7.3.2 Aviso
    • 7.4 Internet via satellite
    • 7.5 VoIP
    • 7.6 E-Commerce
  • 8. Broadband
    • 8.1 ADSL
    • 8.2 WiMAX
    • 8.3 EV-DO
    • 8.4 WiFi
  • 9. Mobile communications
    • 9.1 Overview of Côte d’Ivoire’s mobile market
      • 9.1.1 Mobile statistics
    • 9.2 Major mobile operators
      • 9.2.1 MTN Côte d’Ivoire (formerly Loteny)
      • 9.2.2 Orange CI
      • 9.2.3 Comium (KoZ)
      • 9.2.4 Moov (Etisalat)
      • 9.2.5 Green Network (Oricel, LapGreen)
      • 9.2.6 Warid Telecom
      • 9.2.7 Globacom
      • 9.2.8 CORA de Comstar and Aircomm CI (Historic)
    • 9.3 Mobile data services
      • 9.3.1 SMS
      • 9.3.2 MMS
      • 9.3.3 GPRS/EDGE
    • 9.4 Third generation (3G)
    • 9.5 High-Speed packet access (HSPA)
    • 9.6 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
    • 9.7 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.7.1 M-payments
    • 9.8 Satellite mobile
  • 10. Forecasts
    • 10.1 Forecasts – mobile market 2014; 2017
  • 11. Data centres
  • 12. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Côte d’Ivoire – 2013
  • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2013 (e)
  • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2013
  • Table 4 – Internet, broadband and social media user statistics – 2013 (e)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2013 (e)
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 7 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Cote d'Ivoire – 1999 - 2004
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Cote d'Ivoire – 2005 - 2015
  • Table 9 – Fixed-line revenue and investment – 2005- 2013
  • Table 10 – Internet users and penetration rate in Cote d'Ivoire – 2000 - 2013
  • Table 11 – Internet subscribers and penetration rate in Cote d'Ivoire – 2011 - 2013
  • Table 12 – Market share of internet accesses by technology – 2012 - 2013
  • Table 13 – Market share of internet subscribers by ISP – 2013
  • Table 14 – ISP market share of subscribers – 2012 – 2013
  • Table 15 – Aviso unlimited (business) ADSL pricing – 2012 vs. 2010
  • Table 16 – VipNet ADSL pricing – 2013
  • Table 17 – AfNet/MTN Business WiMAX pricing – 2012 vs. 2009
  • Table 18 – Aviso unlimited WiMAX pricing – 2012
  • Table 19 – MTN Cote d'Ivoire EV-DO pricing – 2012 vs. 2010
  • Table 20 – Mobile market revenue and investment – 2003 - 2013
  • Table 21 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Cote d'Ivoire – 1997 - 2004
  • Table 22 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Cote d'Ivoire – 2005 - 2015
  • Table 23 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2012 - 2013
  • Table 24 – MTN Cote d'Ivoire subscribers – 2002 - 2014
  • Table 25 – MTN Cote d'Ivoire revenue – 2012 - 2013
  • Table 26 – MTN Cote d’Ivoire ARPU – 2005 - 2014
  • Table 27 – Orange Cote d'Ivoire subscribers – 2002 - 2014
  • Table 28 – Orange Cote d'Ivoire revenue – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 29 – Comium Cote d’Ivoire subscribers – 2007 - 2013
  • Table 30 – Orange Cote d'Ivoire 3G+ HSPA pricing – 2012
  • Table 31 – Forecast mobile subscribers in Cote d'Ivoire – 2014; 2017
  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Cote d'Ivoire – 2005 – 2015
  • Chart 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Cote d'Ivoire – 2005 - 2015
  • Chart 3 – Orange Cote d'Ivoire revenue – 2011 – 2014
  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Côte d’Ivoire
  • Exhibit 2 – West African common regulatory framework 2005

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