Mali - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Mali grants its first LTE licence

Mali has a challenging geography for the provision of telecommunication services, with large tracks of the country being sparsely populated desert. Many settlements are hard to reach, making them difficult and expensive to service with effective backhaul infrastructure. Security issues have also been a concern, leading to delays in the national backbone network being built by Huawei.

Compounding these difficulties is the fact that underinvestment in fixed-line networks has meant that telecom infrastructure is barely adequate to serve consumer needs in most towns and is largely absent in many areas of the country. In addition, a combination of poverty, high illiteracy and low PC use has led to a very low take-up of fixed-line internet services. In common with many other countries in the region, Mali has taken to mobile networks for voice and data services.

Orange Mali entered the market as the second mobile and fixed-line operator in 2003 and soon became the dominant provider. The duopoly with national telco, Sotelma, continued until late 2017 when Alpha Telecom (after much delay) launched mobile services. A fourth mobile licence is also being considered by the government in a bid to improve market competition. In June 2018 the Algerian operator Mobilis expressed an interest in entering the Malian mobile market by acquiring this licence.

Mobile penetration in Mali is relatively high and given the sparse nature of the fixed-line infrastructure there is considerable potential for mobile broadband services. Nevertheless, Mali’s landlocked location makes it dependent on neighbouring countries for international bandwidth, which has kept prices high. Improvements in this sector can be expected from the recent arrival of several new competitive international submarine fibre optic cables in the region, while the government in late 2017 set in motion plans for a local Internet Exchange Point.

Key developments:

  • Malitel launches Mobicash money transfer service, secures 4G licence;
  • Orange Mali pays XOF100 million for renewed 15-year concession;
  • Alpha Telecom Mali launches mobile services;
  • Government agrees loan to fund the ‘Mali Numerique 2020’ fibre network project;
  • Huawei granted extension to complete the national fibre backbone network;
  • Vodafone Wholesale completes its second fibre-optic network connecting Ghana to Mali and Niger;
  • Orange Mali and Ecobank develop m-banking service;
  • G5 Sahel countries adopt free mobile roaming measures;
  • Sonatel begins project to upgrade its network infrastructure;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data for 2016, telcos’ operating data to Q4 2018, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Société des Télécommunications du Mali (Sotelma, Maroc Telecom, Vivendi), Orange Mali (Ikatel, Orange Group), Monaco Telecom, Planor Afrique, Afribone, CEFIB, Datatech.

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Historical overview
  • Regional Africa Market Comparison

    • TMI vs GDP
    • Mobile and mobile broadband
    • Fixed and mobile broadband
  • Regulatory environment

    • Historical overview
    • Regulatory authority
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
    • Privatisation
  • Fixed network operators

    • Sotelma
    • Orange Mali
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • International infrastructure
      • Terrestrial/submarine fibre
      • Satellite
  • Fixed-line broadband market

    • Introduction and statistical overview
    • Broadband statistics
    • Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
  • Digital economy

    • e-health
  • Mobile market

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
      • General statistics
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 4G (LTE)
    • Mobile data
      • SMS
    • Mobile broadband
    • Regulatory issues
      • Third mobile licence
      • Fourth mobile licence
      • Roaming
    • Major mobile operators
      • Malitel
      • Orange Mali (formerly Ikatel)
      • Alpha Telecom Mali
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • Mobile content and applications
      • m-payments and m-banking
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Mali – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telcom market investments – 2005 – 2016
  • Table 3 – Telcom market investments by operator– 2006 – 2014
  • Table 4 – Telcom market revenue by sector – 2005 – 2016
  • Table 5 – Sotelma revenue (XOF) – 2005 – 2014
  • Table 6 – Sotelma fixed-line statistics – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 7 – Orange Mali fixed-line statistics – 2005 – 2014
  • Table 8 – Historic - Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Mali – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 9 – Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Mali – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 10 –International bandwidth – 2001 – 2016
  • Table 11 –Internet bandwidth by operator – 2009 – 2014
  • Table 12 – Orange Mali broadband fixed-internet subscribers– 2008 – 2016
  • Table 13 – Sotelma internet subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 14 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Mali – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 15 – Internet users and penetration rate in Mali – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Fixed-line internet and broadband subscribers – 2006 – 2018
  • Table 17 – DSL subscribers – 2006 – 2018
  • Table 18 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Mali – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 19 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Mali – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 20 – Prepaid and contract mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2016
  • Table 21 – SMS traffic – 2006 – 2017
  • Table 22 – Mobile internet subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 23 – Malitel mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Malitel mobile revenue – 2012 – 2014
  • Table 25 – Orange Mali mobile subscribers – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 26 – Orange Mali revenue (€) – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 27 – Orange Mali revenue (XOF) – 2005 – 2014
  • Table 28 – Orange Mali ARPU (€) – 2014 – 2016

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Telcom market revenue by sector – 2005 – 2016
  • Chart 2 – Overall Africa view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 3 – West Africa - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Africa – Middle-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Challengers) – 2018
  • Chart 5 – West Africa –Telecoms Maturity Index by country – 2018
  • Chart 6 – West Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2018
  • Chart 7 – West Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates – 2018
  • Chart 8 – Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Mali – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 9 – Internet users and penetration rate in Mali – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 10 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Mali – 2005 - 2018
  • Chart 11 – Mobile internet subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2018

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Mali
  • Exhibit 2 – Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 3 – West Africa - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country

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