Chad - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Chad opens major domestic fibre link

During the last decade Chad’s economy has been dominated by oil exports, and as a result economic growth has been adversely affected by the falling prices for the commodity on international markets. Recent economic difficulties have been exacerbated by civil unrest and by an influx of refugees from neighbouring countries.

The country remains one of the least developed on the continent, while telecom infrastructure is particularly poor, with penetration rates in all sectors – fixed, mobile and internet – well below African averages. Nevertheless, despite difficult operating conditions, large scale poverty and low spending power, Chad’s telecom market offers some potential for investors to develop services given the low starting base.

The tax on mobile operators has been increased in stages in recent years, from 4% in 2014 to 7% in 2016. In January 2018 it was increased again, to 9%. Of this, the Treasury received 4%, the regulator 2.5%, the Information and Communication Technologies Development Agency (ADETIC) 1.5%, the National School of Information and Communication Technologies (ENASTIC) 0.6% and ANSCIE 0.4%. In addition to this tax an 18% excise duty was introduced in 2016 on telecom services, which has resulting in lower usage among subscribers and consequently a negative impact on operator revenue.

The two main operators Tigo Chad and Airtel Chad have invested in infrastructure and have become the main providers of voice and data services. However, the difficult economic conditions of the country, compounded by a tax on telecom services which has adversely affected customer spend and consequently on operator revenue, have encouraged these players to consider exiting the market. Tigo Chad’s parent company Millicom International entered into discussions with Orange Group in April 2017 and with Econet in the following October regarding a potential sale, while in May 2017 Bharti Aircom announced that Chad was one of its regional markets which it considered offloading. Tigo Chad was sold to Maroc Telecom in June 2019 (though the unit retains the Tigo brand for now), marking the latter’s entry into a market which it has shown an interest in since 2014.

The mobile sector has developed steadily under the auspices of these two operators. The national telco and fixed-line operator Sotel Tchad (ST) operates the country’s third mobile network, as Salam Mobile, though it is mainly focussed on voice services since it depends on GPRS and EDGE technologies (which can provide only basic mobile data services). The country’s first 3G/4G mobile licence was awarded in April 2014.

Chad finally gained access to international fibre bandwidth in 2012. Its national backbone infrastructure remains underdeveloped. The World Bank-funded Central African Backbone (CAB) project takes in Chad, while the country is also party to a Trans-Saharan Backbone project which will link a fibre cable to Nigeria and Algeria. Investment in the national backbone is continuing and though progress across all 12 sectors has been hampered by delays a major link was opened in September 2019.

Key developments:

  • Chad agrees to mobile roaming regulation along with the G5 Sahal countries;
  • N'Djamena - Adré axis fibre link is opened;
  • Maroc Telecom completes acquisition of Tigo Chad;
  • Government introduces 18% tax on telecom services, tax on mobile operators increased to 9%;
  • Tigo Chad extends LTE services;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market updates to December 2018, operator data to June 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Sotel Tchad; TchadNet; Bharti Airtel (Airtel Chad); Millicom (Tigo Chad); Tchad Mobile (Orascom); Sitcom, Salam Mobile, Maroc Telecom.

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market analysis
  • Regional Africa Market Comparison

    • TMI vs GDP
    • Mobile and mobile broadband
    • Fixed and mobile broadband
  • Regulatory environment

    • Telecommunications Act 1998
    • Regulatory authority
    • Quality of service (QoS)
    • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • Fixed network operator

    • Sotel Tchad
      • Privatisation
      • CDMA2000 WLL
      • National backbone network (Sitcom)
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Data centres
    • International infrastructure
    • Submarine fibre optic cables
    • The Central African Backbone (CAB)
    • Other projects
  • Broadband market

    • Introduction and statistical overview
      • Market analysis
      • Broadband statistics
      • Fixed wireless (WiMAX, WiBro, Wi-Fi)
      • Satellite broadband
  • Mobile communications

    • Market analysis
      • Mobile statistics
      • Mobile data
      • Mobile broadband
    • Regulatory issues
      • Licences
      • Roaming
      • MTRs
    • Mobile infrastructure
    • Other infrastructure developments
      • Satellite mobile
    • Major mobile operators
      • Airtel Chad
      • Tigo Chad
      • Salam Mobile
      • Tchad Mobile (defunct)
    • Mobile content and applications
      • Money transfer, m-banking
  • Appendix

  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Chad – 2019 (e)
  • Table 2 – National fibre backbone – section routes to be deployed
  • Table 3 – Annual change in mobile revenue by service - 2014 – 2018
  • Table 4 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Chad – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 5 - Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Chad - 2000 – 2009
  • Table 6 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Chad – 1998 – 2009

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Telecom market investment by main operator – 2015 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Average annual telecom ARPU – 2008- 2018
  • Chart 4 – Overall Africa view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 5 – Central Africa - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 6 – Africa – Bottom-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Emergents) – 2018
  • Chart 7 – Central Africa –Telecoms Maturity Index by country – 2018
  • Chart 8 – Central Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2018
  • Chart 9 – Central Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates – 2018
  • Chart 10 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Chad – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 11 – Average annual fixed-line ARPU – 2012 - 2018
  • Chart 12 – International internet bandwidth – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 13 – Fixed-line internet subscribers – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 14 – Change in average annual internet ARPU – 2012 - 2018
  • Chart 15 – Total internet subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 16 – Average annual internet ARPU – 2012 - 2018
  • Chart 17 – Total internet sector revenue – 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 18 – Mobile revenue by operator – 2016 – 2018
  • Chart 19 – Development of mobile sector revenue - 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 20 – Share of mobile sector revenue by service - 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 21 – Growth in the number of mobile base stations in service - 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 22 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Chad – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 23 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 24 – Growth in mobile voice traffic by operator – 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 25 – Change in average annual mobile ARPU – 2012 - 2018
  • Chart 26 – SMS revenue – 2012 – 2018
  • Chart 27 – SMS traffic – 2013 – 2018
  • Chart 28 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 29 – Growth in mobile broadband revenue – 2013 – 2018
  • Chart 30 – Airtel Chad subscribers – 2005 - 2018
  • Chart 31 – Tigo Chad subscribers – 2008 - 2018
  • Chart 32 – Salam Mobile subscribers – 2008 - 2018
  • Chart 33 – Change in the number of m-money subscribers – 2015 – 2018
  • Chart 34 – Market share of m-money revenue by operator – 2014 – 2018
  • Chart 35 – M-money revenue by operator – 2014 – 2018

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Chad
  • Exhibit 2 – Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 3 – Central Africa - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country

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