The telecom sector in Burkina Faso continues to be stymied by slow regulatory procedures and insufficient mobile spectrum, compounded by the poor condition of fixed-line networks which has held back the development of fixed-line internet services. The fixed-line incumbent Onatel is now majority-owned by Maroc Telecom. It operates the country’s fixed-line network as well as one of the three mobile networks, Telmob.
Mobile telephony has experienced strong growth since competition was introduced in 2000. There has been some fluidity in ownership, with Zain having been acquired by Bharti Airtel before being sold on to Orange Group in 2016, and with Telecel becoming part of Maroc Telecom and being rebranded as Moov. Although market penetration remains below the African average, is continues to grow steadily.
Onatel’s FasoNet is the country’s leading internet service provider, offering DSL and EV-DO services. Internet penetration is extremely low, exacerbated by the high cost of connectivity despite price cuts introduced since 2011 in the wake of improved international bandwidth via fibre links through adjacent countries. These links provide access to the region’s international submarine cables. Although about 50 ISPs have been licensed, only three compete with FasoNet, and collectively these have fewer than 1,000 subscribers.
As a result of poor fixed-line infrastructure the mobile operators have become significant players in the internet sector, accounting for most connections.
Government proposes technology neutral licences to boost mobile broadband connectivity; Huawei starts phase one of a new national fibre backbone project; ECOWAS mobile roaming agreement comes into play; government launches XOF23.6 billion project to provide metropolitan fibre-optic infrastructure; Vodafone Wholesale and Huawei complete cable to Ghanaian border; Orange Burkina Faso completes rebranding exercise; G-Cloud project aiming to connect more than 400 institutions in all 13 regions; government contracts Alcatel-Lucent to provide cloud networking technology facilitating digital public services; international internet bandwidth increases to 7.2Gb/s; report includes the regulator’s annual reports and market statistical updates to June 2017, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q3 2017, recent market developments.
Onatel, Telmob, Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), Orange Burkina Faso, Moov (Telecel, Etisalat), FasoNet, ZCP, Delgi, Cenatrin, CFAO Technologies, River Telecom, Net Access, Maroc Telecom, Vivendi.
Companies (Major Players)
Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Regulations & Government Policies
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Number of pages 35
Last updated 19 Feb 2018
Lead Analyst: Henry Lancaster
Paul is by far, the leading telecommunications analyst in Australia. Not only is his company's research first class and timely, it is superbly contextual to the complexities of today's modern media and communications technology. He is always extremely generous in sharing his knowledge with others and has a great ability to connect people together and be a thought leader on topics of National interest such as the NBN, FttH and Smart Grids.
Bruce Duyshart, Director Strategic Technology, Lend Lease
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