Niger - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive Summary

Niger plans to merge its incumbent to form Niger Telecom

Niger is one of the largest countries in West Africa but also one of the poorest countries in the world. Similar to many African countries; a lack of fixed telecoms infrastructure has led to growth in mobile services. Niger’s mobile penetration sits at over 40% in 2017, while fixed broadband, in comparison has a long way to go with only around 2% penetration.

However recent investments in improving fibre-optic infrastructure in Niger will lead to improved internet networks and access. Specifically, in late 2016 Niger received a boost when the African Development Bank (ADB) awarded €43.9 in funding to build-out the Trans-Saharan Dorsal optical fibre (SDR) network.

In late 2016 the Niger government announced it would merge it state-owned fixed line operator, Sonitel, with its wholly owned mobile unit, Sahel-Com, to form a new entity known as Niger Telecom. The merged company hopes to be more efficient through the sharing of resources and infrastructure. It is also hoped that Niger Telecom will be able to operate more competitively as its mobile unit currently holds less than 5% market share.

Key telecom parameters – 2013; 2016

Sector 2013 2016
Subscribers to telecoms services (million): (e)
Fixed broadband 0.006 0.015
Fixed-line telephony 0.147 0.176
Mobile phone 5.06 8.47

Key developments:

  • Niger is land locked country which prevents it from accessing the undersea cables off the coast of West Africa.
  • In late 2016 it was announced that Sonitel and Sahel-Com would be merged to form Niger Telecom.
  • Niger has the lowest percentage of individuals using the internet in the world.
  • Mobile data penetration is also very low in Niger.
  • A number of mobile money transfer services have emerged.

Companies covered in this report include:

Sonitel, Sahel-Com, Niger Telecom, Bharti Airtel, Airtel Niger, Orange Niger, Atlantique Telecom, Moov, Maroc Telecom, Etisalat, African Development Bank.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market analysis
    • 4.2 Recent developments
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Regulatory authority
    • 5.2 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 5.3 Access
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 Sonitel
    • 6.2 Orange Niger
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 7.2 Broadband statistics
    • 7.3 Examples of fibre network developments
    • 7.4 International infrastructure (satellite, submarine)
  • 8. Mobile market analysis
  • 9. Mobile statistics
    • 9.1 General statistics
    • 9.2 Mobile voice
    • 9.3 Mobile data
    • 9.4 Mobile broadband statistics
  • 10. Regulatory issues
    • 10.1 Overview
    • 10.2 Licensing
    • 10.3 Spectrum
  • 11. Mobile infrastructure
    • 11.1 GSM, 3G
  • 12. Major mobile operators
    • 12.1 Airtel Niger (formerly Celtel/Zain)
    • 12.2 Orange Niger
    • 12.3 Moov Niger
    • 12.4 SahelCom
  • 13. Mobile content and applications
    • 13.1 m-banking (payments/loans)
  • 14. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2016
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2016
  • Table 3 – Broadband statistics – 2016
  • Table 4 – Mobile statistics – 2016
  • Table 5 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 6 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 7 – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2006 - 2016
  • Table 8 – Mobile subscribers and teledensity – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 9 – Mobile operators, subscribers and market share – 2015
  • Table 10 – Active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2013 – 2015
  • Chart 1 – Mobile versus fixed-line subscribers – 2008 – 2016
  • Exhibit 1 – Niger telecoms operators by license and service segment - 2016

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Paul, Many thanks for your inputs yesterday. You provided a compelling different perspective to our traditional infrastructure focus and this is valuable for our future planning. I also had very favourable feedback from our participants on your involvement.

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