Burkina Faso - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Orange Group expands in Burkina Faso with acquisition of Airtel business

Burkina Faso’s telecom sector has been held back by the slow pace of regulatory procedures. This has contributed to delays in operators being able to launch 3G and LTE services despite mobile networks being fundamental to internet access. The poor state of fixed-line networks has 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 and Telecel International. Both operators have seen a change of ownership, with Zain having been acquired by Bharti Airtel before being sold on to Orange Group in 2016, and with Telecel becoming part of Marco 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, dominating the broadband market with its DSL and EV-DO offerings. Penetration rates in this sector are still extremely low and services remain expensive despite some price cuts introduced since 2011 in the wake of improved international bandwidth capacity. 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 adjacent countries which have direct access to the region’s international fibre optic submarine cables. Although about 50 ISPs have been licensed, only three compete with FasoNet, and collectively these have fewer than 1,000 subscribers.

The mobile operators have entered the underdeveloped internet sector by offering mobile data services using GPRS and EDGE technology, but 3G services have not yet been introduced except for Onatel’s EV-DO fixed-wireless service.

Market penetration rates in Burkina Faso’s telecoms sector – 2016 (e)

Penetration of telecoms services: Penetration
Fixed-line telephony 0.4%
Internet users 11.6%
Mobile SIM (population) 85.3%

(Source: BuddeComm)

Key developments:

Bharti Airtel completes the sale of its local unit to Orange Group; Onatel reports 11% increase in revenue for H1 2016; 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; 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; international internet bandwidth increases to 5.38Gb/s; Maroc Telecom deploys new cable linking Burkina Faso to Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Niger; report includes the regulator’s annual reports and market statistical updates to December 2014, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q2 2016, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned 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.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market analysis
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Historic background
    • 5.2 Regulatory authority
      • 5.2.1 ARCEP (formerly Artel)
    • 5.3 NICI development plan
    • 5.4 West African common regulatory framework 2005
    • 5.5 Market liberalisation
      • 5.5.1 Second fixed-line and fourth mobile licence
    • 5.6 Universal Service Fund
  • 6. Fixed-network operators
    • 6.1 Onatel
      • 6.1.1 Services
      • 6.1.2 Privatisation
      • 6.1.3 IPO
      • 6.1.4 National telecom network
      • 6.1.5 Wireless Local Loop (WLL), CDMA2000 1x
      • 6.1.6 National fibre backbone
      • 6.1.7 Cloud-based services
    • 6.2 International infrastructure
  • 7. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 7.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 7.2 Broadband statistics
    • 7.3 Public Internet access locations
    • 7.4 Other ISPs
    • 7.5 Fixed-line broadband technologies
        • 7.5.1 Other fixed broadband services
      • 7.6 Broadband via satellite
    • 8. Digital media
      • 8.1 E-government
      • 8.2 E-education
      • 8.3 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
    • 9. Mobile market
      • 9.1 Market analysis
        • 9.1.1 Mobile statistics
        • 9.1.2 Mobile data
        • 9.1.3 Mobile broadband
        • 9.1.4 Regulatory measures
      • 9.2 Major mobile operators
        • 9.2.1 Airtel Burkina Faso (formerly Zain, Celtel)
        • 9.2.2 Telmob (Onatel)
        • 9.2.3 Moov (Telecel, Etisalat)
      • 9.3 Mobile infrastructure
        • 9.3.1 Third generation (3G)
        • 9.3.2 Other infrastructure developments
      • 9.4 Mobile content and applications
        • 9.4.1 m-payment
        • 9.4.2 m-health
    • 10. Related reports
    • Table 1 – Country statistics Burkina Faso – 2015
    • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2016
    • Table 4 – Internet and social media user statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
    • Table 7 – ICT parameters by service – 2004 - 2016
    • Table 8 – Onatel subscribers by service – 2010 - 2016
    • Table 9 – Onatel financial data – 2011 - 2016
    • Table 10 – Historic - Fixed-lines in service and teledensity – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 11 – Fixed-lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 12 – CDMA lines in service – 2009 - 2014
    • Table 13 – Burkina Faso's international internet bandwidth – 2002 - 2015
    • Table 14 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 15 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 16 – Fixed-line internet subscribers – 2006 – 2016s
    • Table 17 – Public telecentres – 2009 - 2014
    • Table 18 – ISP operating data – 2014
    • Table 19 – Moov broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2016
    • Table 20 – FasoNet (Onatel) internet subscribers – 2006 - 2016
    • Table 21 –Onatel DSL subscribers – 2005 - 2014
    • Table 22 – Wireless broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 23 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Burkina Faso – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 24 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Burkina Faso – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 25 – Mobile operator market share of subscribers – 2011 - 2014
    • Table 26 – SMS traffic – 2004 - 2016
    • Table 27 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2013 - 2016
    • Table 28 – Mobile internet subscribers – 2011 - 2014
    • Table 29 – Bharti Airtel mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2014
    • Table 30 – Onatel mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 31 – Onatel revenue – 2011 - 2014
    • Table 32 – Onatel annualised ARPU – 2011 - 2015
    • Table 33 – Moov mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2016
    • Chart 1 – Onatel subscribers by service – 2010 - 2016
    • Chart 2 – Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Burkina Faso – 2005 – 2017
    • Chart 3 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 – 2017
    • Chart 4 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2017
    • Exhibit 1 – Map of Burkina Faso
    • Exhibit 2 – West African common regulatory framework 2005

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