Gabon - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Gabon’s Universal Service program gets off the ground

Gabon remains one of the wealthiest nations in Africa in terms of GDP per capita, with the economy largely buttressed by oil revenue.

The telecom market was liberalised in 1999 when the government awarded three mobile telephony licences and two Internet Service Provider (ISP) licences, and established an independent regulatory authority. Gabon Telecom was privatised in 2007 when Maroc Telecom bought a 51% stake in the operator. In June 2016 Maroc Telecom merged Gabon Telecom with Moov Gabon, thereby reducing the number of mobile network operators from four to three.

The 2009 entry of USAN (operated by Bintel under the brand name Azur) into a competitive market with high penetration triggered a price war that saw falling revenue and profits, forcing the operators to streamline their businesses and to look for new income streams. Following more than a year of delays, a licence to offer 3G mobile broadband services was awarded in late 2011. Both Airtel Gabon and Libertis have launched LTE services.

In contrast with the mobile market, Gabon’s fixed-line and internet sectors have remained underdeveloped due to a lack of competition and high prices. The country has sufficient international bandwidth on the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE submarine cable but this facility is monopolised by Gabon Telecom. The recent arrival of the ACE submarine cable, combined with progressing work on the CAB cable, has increased backhaul capacity supporting mobile data traffic.

Key developments:

  • Gabon Telecom and Airtel Gabon renew mobile licences for ten years;
  • Universal service project gets underway, aiming to deliver telecom services to 2,700 villages;
  • Korea Telecom secures XAF6 billion contract to build two fibre segments as part of the Central African Backbone project;
  • Azur faces liquidation;
  • New legal and regulatory framework comes into play;
  • Gabon Telecom reduces cost of connecting to its fibre network by up to 90%;
  • Maroc Telecom merges Gabon Telecom and Moov Gabon;
  • E-Gabon project launched to improve e-health services;
  • Regulator promotes MVNO market to maintain competition;
  • Axione contracted to extend and maintain national telecoms infrastructure;
  • MNOs register SIM cards to comply with new regulations;
  • Airtel Gabon opens submarine link between Libreville and Port-Gentil;
  • Airtel Money service made available to BGFI Bank customers;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to Q2 2017, operator data to Q3 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Gabon Telecom (Maroc Telecom, Libertis); Bharti Airtel (Zain); Moov (Telecel Gabon); Bintel (USAN, Azur); Internet Gabon; Solsi; IBN Corporate.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Telecommunications market
    • 3.1 Market analysis
  • 4. Regulatory environment
    • 4.1 Historical overview
    • 4.2 Regulatory authority
    • 4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 4.4 Interconnection
  • 5. Fixed network operator
    • 5.1 Gabon Telecom
  • 6. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 6.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 6.2 International infrastructure
      • 6.2.1 Submarine
      • 6.2.2 Terrestrial fibre
  • 7. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 7.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 7.2 Market analysis
    • 7.3 Broadband statistics
    • 7.4 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 7.4.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 7.4.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
      • 7.4.3 Other fixed broadband services
  • 8. Digitel economy
    • 8.1 e-health
    • 8.2 e-learning
  • 9. Mobile market
    • 9.1 Market analysis
    • 9.2 Mobile statistics
    • 9.3 Mobile data
      • 9.3.1 SMS
    • 9.4 Mobile broadband
    • 9.5 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.5.1 High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
      • 9.5.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
      • 9.5.3 Mobile satellite services
    • 9.6 Major mobile operators
      • 9.6.1 Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel)
      • 9.6.2 Libertis (Gabon Telecom)
      • 9.6.3 Moov (Télécel Gabon)
      • 9.6.4 Azur (USAN, BinTel)
    • 9.7 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.7.1 Mobile payments
  • 10. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Gabon – 2017 (e)
  • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2017
  • Table 4 – Internet and social media user statistics – 2017 (e)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2017 (e)
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 7 – Gabon Telecom fixed-line/internet vs. mobile revenue (MAD) – 2008 - 2015
  • Table 8 – Gabon Telecom fixed-line revenue (FCFA) – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 9 – Gabon Telecom fixed-line subscribers – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 10 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 11 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 12 – International bandwidth – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 13 –Market share of internet subscribers – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 14 – Fixed internet users and penetration – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 15 – Fixed-line and mobile internet subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 - 2017
  • Table 16 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2003 - 2018
  • Table 17 – Gabon Telecom internet subscribers – 2007 - 2017
  • Table 18 – DSL subscribers and penetration – 2003 - 2017
  • Table 19 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 20 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 21 – Mobile market share by operator – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 22 –Mobile services revenue – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 23 –Mobile ARPU – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 24 – Mobile SMS sent – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 25 – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 26 – Mobile broadband subscribers by operator – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 27 – Airtel Gabon subscribers – 2002 - 2017
  • Table 28 – Libertis subscribers – 2007 - 2017
  • Table 29 – Libertis mobile revenue – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 30 – Libertis annualised mobile ARPU – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 31 – Historic - Moov subscribers – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 32 – Historic - Moov mobile ARPU – 2014 - 2015
  • Table 33 – Azur subscribers – 2010 - 2017
  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2002– 2018
  • Chart 2 – Fixed internet users and penetration – 2002 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers in Gabon – 2005 - 2018

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