Eritrea’s telecom sector operates under a state-owned monopoly for fixed and mobile services. Partly as a result of such restrictions on competition, the country has the least developed telecommunications market in Africa. Mobile penetration as on mid-2016 was only about 7.4%, while fixed-line internet use barely registers. This is exacerbated by the very low use of computers, with only about 2% of households having a computer, and most of these being in the capital, Asmara. Only the Internet Service Provider (ISP) sector is open to competition. Growth in the mobile and internet sector is showing some promise as the national telco, the Eritrean Telecommunication Services Corporation (EriTel), continues to roll out a Third Generation (3G) mobile network. However, considerable investment in telecom infrastructure is required to improve the availability of services. The government in May 2016 announced a work program to do exactly that, specifically aimed at extending services to remote areas, improving the quality of services, and ensuring that more telecoms infrastructure is supported by solar power to compensate for the poor state of the electricity network.
Additional foreign investment in telecom infrastructure, as well as introduction of more competition, would help transform what remains a virtually untapped market.
Government unveils plans for infrastructure developments to end-2016; EriTel increases mobile coverage to 85% of the country;
|Mobile SIM (population)||7.4%|
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)
Eritrean Telecommunication Services Corporation (EriTel)
Number of pages 14
Last updated 16 Aug 2016
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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