Senegal - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Senegalese government to revise telecoms legislation to keep pace with ICT changes

Senegal’s economic growth has improved steadily in recent years, with GDP estimated to have grown 5.1% in 2015. This has translated into consistent growth in the telecom market, with the number of mobile subscribers having increased 2.6% in the first quarter of 2016 alone. Orange Group’s local subsidiary Sonatel is the dominant player in both the fixed-line and mobile sectors, though there is effective competition in the mobile sector from Tigo Senegal and Sudatel’s local unit Expresso, which have a 23% and 21% market share, respectively.

Competition in the fixed-line sector was introduced when Expresso launched services as the second national operator (SNO) in 2009. The new entrant initially chose CDMA2000 technology to serve both market segments but switched to GSM technology in 2010, including 3G/HSPA mobile broadband.

The licensing of new operators has not always been transparent in Senegal, with the licences of both Sentel and Sudatel were awarded under controversial circumstances. Sentel settled a four-year licence dispute with the government in August 2012.

The mobile market has prospered, helped in part by poor fixed-line infrastructure in some rural areas. Mobile penetration reached about 117% by mid-2016. A range of value-added services is available to subscribers, including mobile broadband access, which has become by far the dominant internet platform, accounting for about 98.5% of all internet accesses as of mid-2016.

Recent licensing developments will help propel the LTE sector. In June 2016 Sonatel secured a 17-year LTE licence (reduced from 20 years), as well as an extension to its fixed-line, 2G and 3G operating concessions (which had been due to expire in 2017) for no additional cost. The LTE licence includes the use of 10MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band and 10MHz in the 800MHz band. Sonatel must provide 70% population coverage within five years and 90% coverage within ten years.

Development of the internet market until 2007 was hampered by Sonatel’s monopolistic pricing of bandwidth on the only high-capacity international submarine fibre optic cable serving the country. Despite this, broadband services in Senegal are relatively advanced, and a range of IP-based services including broadband TV (IPTV) and converged triple-play services are offered. Sonatel has progressively reduced its prices following the arrival of several competing international fibre optic submarine cables.

Key developments:

  • Regulator calls for domestic applicants for MVNOs licenses;
  • Ministry of Commerce launches ‘Made in Senegal’ e-commerce platform;
  • Regulator deactivates some five million unregistered SIM cards;
  • Telecom regulators of Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Burkina Faso and Togo implement free roaming among networks within the countries;
  • Digital Senegal 2016-2025 programs to cost XOF1,346 billion;
  • ATOS Senegal replaces the State IT Agency (ADIE) to manage the 3,000km fibre network;
  • Globacom commissions landing station for its Glo-1 cable for Senegal;
  • Regulator prepares to revise the telecoms legislation to keep pace with ICT and technology changes;
  • Tigo launches the Yone money transfer service, invests XOF115 billion in modernising and upgrading its HSPA+ mobile network and preparing for the migration to LTE;
  • Millicom sells Tigo Senegal to Wari Group;
  • Rapid Communications sets up mobile remittance service in Senegal;
  • Orange Senegal sets up a Network Operating Common Centre (GNOC) in Dakar to manage operations in Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Guinea Bissau;
  • Regulator sets up new body to monitor QoS of telecom services;
  • Sonatel signs agreement to provide free 1Mb/s internet services to schools, sells domestic mobile tower portfolio;
  • Ericsson takes over operational management of Tigo’s mobile networks;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2016, operator data to Q4 2016, recent market developments.

Market penetration rates in Senegal’s telecoms sector – 2016 (e)

Penetration of telecoms services: Penetration
Fixed-line telephony 2.1%
Fixed broadband 0.7%
Mobile SIM (population) 117%

Companies mentioned in this report:

Sonatel (Orange), Millicom (Sentel, Tigo), Sudatel (Expresso), Arc Informatique, Globacom, Mainstreet Technologies, Lycamobile Senegal.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key Statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Historical overview
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Telecom sector reform
    • 5.2 Telecommunications Act of 2001
    • 5.3 Regulatory authority
    • 5.4 Universal Service Fund
    • 5.5 West African common regulatory framework 2005
    • 5.6 Electronic Transactions Act
    • 5.7 Taxes
    • 5.8 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 5.9 Digital Cities
    • 5.10 Digital Senegal
    • 5.11 Second national operator (SNO) licence
    • 5.12 VoIP
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 Sonatel (Orange Senegal)
      • 6.1.1 Subsidiaries
      • 6.1.2 Privatisation
      • 6.1.3 Financial results
      • 6.1.4 Network infrastructure and services
      • 6.1.5 Expansion into rural areas
      • 6.1.6 Telecentres
      • 6.1.7 International expansion
    • 6.2 Expresso
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 7.2 National Research and Education Network (NREN)
    • 7.3 International infrastructure
      • 7.3.1 Satellite
      • 7.3.2 Terrestrial fibre and microwave
      • 7.3.3 Submarine fibre
  • 8. Smart infrastructure
  • 9. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 9.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 9.2 Broadband statistics
    • 9.3 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 9.3.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 9.3.2 Other fixed broadband services
  • 10. Digital Economy
    • 10.1 E-health
    • 10.2 E-government
    • 10.3 E-commerce
  • 11. Digital Media
    • 11.1 Videostreaming
    • 11.2 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
  • 12. Mobile market
    • 12.1 Market analysis
    • 12.2 Mobile statistics
    • 12.3 Mobile data
      • 12.3.1 SMS
      • 12.3.2 Mobile broadband
    • 12.4 Regulatory issues
      • 12.4.1 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 12.4.2 SIM card registration
      • 12.4.3 Per-second billing (PSB)
      • 12.4.4 Millicom licence dispute
      • 12.4.5 LTE licence
      • 12.4.6 Roaming
    • 12.5 Mobile infrastructure
      • 12.5.1 Digital networks
      • 12.5.2 Other infrastructure developments
    • 12.6 Major mobile operators
      • 12.6.1 Orange (Sonatel Mobiles)
      • 12.6.2 Tigo Senegal (Sentel GSM)
      • 12.6.3 Expresso (Sudatel)
      • 12.6.4 Hayo Telecom
    • 12.7 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 12.8 Mobile content and applications
      • 12.8.1 Manobi
      • 12.8.2 M-payments and m-banking
  • 13. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Senegal – 2015 (e)
  • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2016
  • Table 4 – Internet statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 7 – Sonatel Group financial results – 2004 - 2016
  • Table 8 – Sonatel (Senegal) financial results (XOF) – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 9 – Sonatel/Orange fixed-line ARPU – 2004 - 2016
  • Table 10 – Sonatel/Orange fixed-line subscribers – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 11 – Historic -Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Senegal – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 12 – Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Senegal – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 13 – Market share of fixed-line subscribers by operator – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 14 – International internet bandwidth in Senegal – 2002 - 2015
  • Table 15 – Internet penetration by platform – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 16 – Internet users in Senegal – 2000 - 2018
  • Table 17 – Internet user penetration – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 18 – Market share of internet connections by platform – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 19 – Internet subscribers by platform – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 20 – Market share of internet subscribers by operator – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 21 – DSL subscribers in Senegal – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 22 – Fixed wireless internet subscribers – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 23 – Fixed wireless broadband market share by operator (keys) – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 24 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2000 - 2009
  • Table 25 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 26 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 27 – Prepaid and contract subscribers – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 28 – Mobile voice traffic – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 29 – SMS messages sent – 2014 – 2016
  • Table 30 – Mobile broadband (2G/3G) subscribers – 2011 – 2016
  • Table 31 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 32 – Market share of 2G/3G internet subscribers by operator – 2012 - 2015
  • Table 33 – Sonatel/Orange mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2016
  • Table 34 – Sonatel/Orange mobile revenue (€) – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 35 – Sonatel/Orange mobile ARPU (XOF) – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 36 – Sonatel/Orange blended mobile ARPU (€) – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 37 – Sonatel/Orange mobile data subscribers and revenue – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 38 – Tigo mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 39 – Expresso mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2016
  • Chart 1 – Sonatel Group financial results – 2004 – 2016
  • Chart 2 – Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Senegal – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Senegal – 2005 - 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Senegal
  • Exhibit 2 – West African common regulatory framework 2005

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