Chad - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Chad increases tax on mobile operators

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. Economic difficulties, with a sharp fall in GDP recorded for 2017, have been exacerbated by civil unrest and by an influx of refugees from neighbouring countries. Declining revenue has encouraged the government to attempt to renegotiate the terms of licences which only grant it 12.5% of revenue from oil exports, while it has also endeavoured to access oil money held in an escrow account set up by the World Bank and intended to be used to alleviate poverty.

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 March 2019, 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 Tigo Chad and Airtel Chad. The national telco and fixed-line operator Sotel Tchad (ST) operates the country’s third mobile network, as Salam Mobile. Salam Mobile is mainly focussed on voice services since its dependence on GPRS and EDGE technologies offer 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, but it still lacks a national backbone infrastructure to support efficient broadband services. However, the World Bank-funded Central African Backbone (CAB) project has made progress, and Chad 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 though progress across all 12 sectors has been hampered by delays.

Key developments:

  • Chad agrees to mobile roaming regulation along with the G5 Sahal countries;
  • Maroc Telecom completes acquisition of Tigo Chad;
  • Regulator critical of MNOs’ poor quality of service;
  • Presta Bist Telecoms increases satellite broadband capacity from O3b Networks by 66%;
  • Government introduces 18% tax on telecom services, tax on mobile operators increased to 9%;
  • Tigo Chad extends LTE services;
  • Continuing expansion of national fibre backbone infrastructure;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market updates, activity report for 2016, operator data to December 2018, 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
    • 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
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Chad – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – GDP in Chad – 2007- 2016
  • Table 3 –Telecom market revenue by sector – 2009 – 2015
  • Table 4 – Average annual telecom ARPU – 2008- 2015
  • Table 5 – National fibre backbone – section routes to be deployed
  • Table 6 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Chad – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Chad – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines by type – 2008 – 2015
  • Table 9 – International internet bandwidth– 1999 – 2016
  • Table 10 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Chad – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 11 – Internet users and penetration rate in Chad – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 12 – Fixed-line internet subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 13 – Fixed-line internet subscribers by alternative operators – 2010 – 2015
  • Table 14 – Total internet subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 15 – Internet sector revenue – 2011 – 2015
  • Table 16 - Mobile base stations in service - 2000 – 2015
  • Table 17 - Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Chad - 2000 – 2009
  • Table 18 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Chad – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 19 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2015
  • Table 20 – Proportion of mobile subscribers by prepaid and contract – 2011 – 2015
  • Table 21 – Mobile voice traffic by operator – 2011 – 2015
  • Table 22 – SMS traffic – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 23 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Airtel Chad subscribers – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 25 – Tigo Chad subscribers – 2008 – 2017
  • Table 26 – Salam Mobile subscribers – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 27 – Tchad Mobile (defunct) subscribers – 2001 – 2004
  • Table 28 –Market share of m-money revenue by operator – 2014 – 2015

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Overall Africa view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Central Africa - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Africa – Bottom-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Emergents) – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Central Africa –Telecoms Maturity Index by country – 2018
  • Chart 5 – Central Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2018
  • Chart 6 – Central Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates – 2018
  • Chart 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Chad – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 8 – Internet users and penetration rate in Chad – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 9 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Chad – 2000 – 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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