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 of mid-2017 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 3% of households having a computer, and most of these being in the capital, Asmara. Although the provision of internet services is open to competition, less than 2% of households have access to the internet. As a result such growth as there is in the mobile and mobile internet sectors. The national telco, the Eritrean Telecommunication Services Corporation (EriTel), continues to roll out a 3G network which provides basic internet access to the majority or Eritreans.
However, considerable investment in telecom infrastructure is still required to improve the quality of services. The government has embarked on 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 continues with infrastructure developments; EriTel extends mobile coverage.
Eritrean Telecommunication Services Corporation (EriTel)
Number of pages 13
Last updated 12 Sep 2017
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