Chad - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Chad’s telecom market showing steady revenue growth

During the last decade Chad’s economy has been dominated by oil exports, and as a result economic growth has been adversely affected by falling price of the commodity on international markets since late 2014. Economic difficulties, with a sharp fall in GDP recorded for 2016, 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. The two main operators Millicom International and Bharti Aircom 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 new 18% tax on telecom services which has adversely affected customer spend and consequently on operator revenue, have encouraged these players to consider exiting the market. Millicom earlier in 2017 was reported to be in discussions with Orange Group regarding a potential sale, while in May 2017 Bharti Aircom announced that Chad was one of its regional markets which it considered offloading. 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 mobile sector has developed steadily under the auspices of Airtel Chad and Tigo Chad, while 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.

Key developments:

  • Presta Bist Telecoms increases satellite broadband capacity from O3b Networks by 66%;
  • Government introduces 18% tax on telecom services;
  • Regulator reduces MNO licence duration by one year for poor QoS;
  • Bharti Airtel considers exit from some African markets, including Chad;
  • Tigo Chad launches LTE, extends 3G to Abeche, N'Djamena and Moundou;
  • Continuing expansion of national fibre backbone infrastructure;
  • Sotel and Camtel sign infrastructure expansion agreement;
  • YooMee secures funding for LTE deployment;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market updates, operator data to March 2017, recent market developments.

Market penetration rates in Chad’s telecoms sector – 2016

Market Penetration rate
Fixed-line telephony 0.1%
Fixed internet users 2.7%
Mobile SIM (population) 44%

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market analysis
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Telecommunications Act 1998
    • 5.2 Regulatory authority
    • 5.3 Quality of service (QoS)
    • 5.4 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • 6. Fixed network operator
    • 6.1 Sotel Tchad
      • 6.1.1 Privatisation
      • 6.1.2 CDMA2000 WLL
      • 6.1.3 National backbone network (Sitcom)
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Data centres
  • 8. International infrastructure
    • 8.1 Submarine fibre optic cables
    • 8.2 The Central African Backbone (CAB)
    • 8.3 Other projects
  • 9. Broadband market
    • 9.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 9.1.1 Market analysis
      • 9.1.2 Broadband statistics
      • 9.1.3 Fixed wireless (WiMAX, WiBro, Wi-Fi)
      • 9.1.4 Satellite broadband
  • 10. Mobile communications
    • 10.1 Market analysis
      • 10.1.1 Mobile statistics
      • 10.1.2 Mobile data
      • 10.1.3 Mobile broadband
    • 10.2 Mobile infrastructure
      • 10.2.1 Digital networks
    • 10.3 Other infrastructure developments
      • 10.3.1 Satellite mobile
    • 10.4 Major mobile operators
      • 10.4.1 Airtel Chad (formerly Zain)
      • 10.4.2 Millicom Chad (Tigo)
      • 10.4.3 Salam Mobile
      • 10.4.4 Tchad Mobile (defunct)
    • 10.5 Mobile content and applications
      • 10.5.1 Money transfer, m-banking
  • 11. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Chad – 2016 (e)
  • Table 2 – Fixed network statistics – 2016
  • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2017
  • Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2016
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 7 – GDP in Chad – 2007- 2016
  • Table 8 –Telecom market revenue by sector – 2009 - 2015
  • Table 9 – Average annual telecom ARPU – 2008- 2015
  • Table 10 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Chad – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 11 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Chad – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 12 – Fixed lines by type – 2008 - 2015
  • Table 13 – International internet bandwidth– 1999 - 2016
  • Table 14 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Chad – 1998 - 2009
  • Table 15 – Internet users and penetration rate in Chad – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 16 – Fixed-line internet subscribers – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 17 – Fixed-line internet subscribers by alternative operators – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 18 – Total internet subscribers – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 19 – Internet sector revenue – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 20 - Mobile base stations in service - 2000 – 2015
  • Table 21 - Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Chad - 2000 – 2009
  • Table 22 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Chad – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 23 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 24 – Proportion of mobile subscribers by prepaid and contract – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 25 – Mobile voice traffic by operator – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 26 – SMS traffic – 2011 - 2018
  • Table 27 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 28 – Airtel Chad subscribers – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 29 – Tigo Chad subscribers – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 30 – Salam Mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 12 – Tchad Mobile (defunct) subscribers – 2001 - 2004
  • Table 12 –Market share of m-money revenue by operator – 2014 - 2015
  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Chad – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Internet users and penetration rate in Chad – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Chad – 2000 - 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Chad

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