Sotelgui expected to re-launch services having secured $350 million loan
Guinea in West Africa has vast mineral resources yet remains one of the poorest countries in the world. With five competing mobile networks, its telecommunications sector has shown triple-digit growth rates for three years in a row following the entry of two world-class international operators, MTN and Orange. The other competitors are Intercel, Cellcom and Lagui, the mobile unit of the national fixed-line operator, Sotelgui.
Following the exit of Telekom Malaysia in 2008, Sotelgui has being prepared for renewed privatisation, creating an attractive opportunity for a strategic investor. Despite the rapid growth in the mobile sector, penetration remains below the African average, while the country’s fixed-line and internet markets are virtually untapped.
Broadband services are still very limited and expensive. The landing of the first international fibre optic submarine cable in 2012, and the setting up of an IXP in mid-2013, will go far to help the nascent broadband market develop by reducing the cost of internet bandwidth and improving the reliability of infrastructure.
The country slipped into a mild recession in 2009, but stable GDP growth of around 5% per year is expected from 2014, possibly reaching up to 20% in 2015 and 2016.
Mobile smartphones and apps deployed to tackle Ebola; Sotelgui expected to re-launch services having secured $350 million loan to build additional infrastructure; 400 cell towers put up for sale; first international fibre optic submarine cable lands; Mobile Money services launched; third 3G licence awarded in late 2013; government secures a $350 million loan to build a 4,000km fibre backbone network; strong growth in SMS traffic; MTN signs management contract with Huawei Technologies; Cellcom Guinea launches 3G+ services; Guineanet selects Altai to provide its WiFi hotspot platform, report update includes the regulator’s market data for 2014, operator data to Q1 2015, recent market developments.
Estimated market penetration rates in Guinea’s telecoms sector – end-2014
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)
Companies mentioned in this report:
Société des Télécommunications de Guinée (Sotelgui), MTN (Areeba, Investcom), Orange (France Telecom, Spacetel), Intercel (Télécel Guinea), Cellcom Guinee, MiriNet (Afribone), ETI, Universal Communication (DiscoveryTel), Ristel, Afripa Telecom, Alternet Systems, Broad Telecom, Soguicis, Thucatel, Telekom Malaysia.