Understand and measure the impact of COVID-19 on the telecom industry!

Virus impact over each market - telecom operators, government agencies and regulators' responses - revised forecasts for the next 5 years.

See updated country reports

Gabon - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Report Cover Image

Last updated: 3 Aug 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 96

Gabon makes progress with international fibre connectivity

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 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 Group 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. Azur failed to weather competition and ceased trading in late 2017, encumbered by debts and fined by the regulator for failing to observe its quality of service obligations.

Both Airtel Gabon and Gabon Telecom Mobile (Libertis) have launched LTE services in a bid to develop revenue from mobile broadband and data services, while Libertis has also trialled 5G.

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 arrival of the ACE submarine cable, combined with progressing work on the CAB cable, has increased backhaul capacity supporting mobile data traffic.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Gabon Telecom to trial 5G in Libreville;
  • Gabon Telecom and Airtel Gabon renew mobile licences for ten years;
  • Government commits XAF150 billion in backbone infrastructure work;
  • Gabon and Congo end mobile roaming charges;
  • 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;
  • New legal and regulatory framework comes into play;
  • E-Gabon project launched to improve e-health services;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to Q1 2020, operator data to Q2 2020, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, 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.

Related Reports

Share this Report

Purchase with Confidence

Paul was that fast, he outpaced with his message the entire Dutch (financial) press as well as international news agencies like DowJones. BuddeComm, your Australian news source that informs faster than that other Australian NewsCorp ;-)

Hendrik Rood, Senior consultant, Stratix Consulting

Research Methodology

BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.

For more details, please see:


Research Methodology

Sample Reports

A selection of downloadable samples from our Annual Publications catalogue.


Download a Sample Report

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.