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Niger - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 27 Jul 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 99

Niger’s difficult economic climate encourages exit of Orange Group

Niger is one of the largest countries in West Africa but also one of the poorest in the world. As with many African markets, a lack of fixed telecoms infrastructure has led to growth in mobile services. Niger’s mobile penetration is modest compared to other countries in the region, while fixed broadband penetration is negligible.

Recent international investment to complete the Trans-Saharan Dorsal optical fibre (SDR) network has extended the reach of fibre-optic infrastructure in the country and also increased international capacity. Despite this, investment among operators has fallen dramatically since 2015. This is partly the result of a poor economic climate since then, which saw a 7.5% fall in market revenue in 2019, year-on-year. Orange Niger made no significant investment in 2019, as the company exited the market.

Following years of financial difficulties, the state-owned fixed line operator, Sonitel, was merged with its wholly owned mobile unit, SahelCom, in late 2016 to form a new entity, Niger Telecom. The merged company secured a global telecom licence in November 2017 and is aiming to develop greater efficiency through sharing resources and infrastructure.

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:

  • 15-year LTE licence awarded to Zamani Com,
  • Orange Group sells its local unit Orange Niger,
  • Regulator again fines the MNOs for poor QoS;
  • World Bank provides $100 million to facilitate Niger’s digital progress;
  • Niger adopts free mobile roaming with other G5 Sahel countries;
  • Report update includes the regulator's 2019 market report, operator data to Q2 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies covered in this report include:

Niger Telecom (Sonitel, SahelCom), Bharti Airtel (Airtel Niger), Orange Niger, Atlantique Telecom, Moov, Maroc Telecom, Etisalat, African Development Bank.

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