Burundi Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 2 Jun 2024 Update History

Report Status: Current

Report Pages: 100

Burundi’s MNOs gearing to launch 5G services

Among African countries, Burundi’s telecom market has considerable potential given the significant proportion of the population being under 25 years old. While the very low penetration rates for all services suggests room for growth a significant downside for investors is that the country has a very low economic output. The majority of the population work in the agricultural sector and live in rural areas, disposable income is very low, exposure to digital services is limited, fixed-line infrastructure is essentially non-existent outside the main urban areas, and mobile connectivity is also patchy in many areas of the country. The government has two key digital plans in place aimed at developing a digital economy and extending the adoption of digital services, though in practice there are few mechanisms by which these targets will be achieved.

Despite the strong growth in the number of subscribers on 3G and LTE networks in recent years, most mobile subscribers remain on GSM networks. Indeed, given that LTE geographic coverage is less than 16%, mobile internet services remain basic and thus there are many barriers to developing a digital ecosystem.

International bandwidth capacity has continued to increase in recent years, reaching 26.13Gb/s as of the end of 2023. This increase has contributed to lower retail prices for consumers, though prices remain relatively high considering that the majority of the population exist on less than $2 per day.

Key developments:

  • Regulator prepares to the launch of 5G services in 2024.
  • National Development Plan to 2027 fails to gain traction due to lack of oversight.
  • Government launches e-health project, progresses with its Broadband Burundi 2025 project.
  • Mobile subscriber penetration reaches 66%.
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to Q4 2023, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Office National des Telecommunications (Onatel, Onamob), U-Com (Orascom, Telecel Globe, Leo), VTEL Holdings (Tempo, Africell Safaris), Econet Wireless Burundi (Spacetel), LaCell SU (Smart Burundi), Renaissance Capital, BNP Paribas, Millenium Finance, Linkstone Capital

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