Virus impact over each market - telecom operators, government agencies and regulators' responses - revised forecasts for the next 5 years.
Senegal’s telecom market has witnessed consistent growth in recent years, with the number of mobile subscribers having increased 5.7% in the year to March 2020. Orange Group’s local subsidiary Orange Senegal (Sonatel) is the dominant player in both the fixed-line and mobile sectors. The company reported solid revenue in 2019, and in mid-2020 it issued a XOF100 billion bond to finance its ongoing network upgrades and service offerings. the vibrant mobile sector continues to attract international investment, with Tigo having been acquired by a consortium and rebranded as Free Senegal, mirroring the brand name of an associated company in France which had upset the local market through cheap pricing and comprehensive service offerings.
Competition in the fixed-line sector was introduced when Expresso launched services as the second national operator (SNO) in 2009. However, Sonatel commands a near monopoly on fixed lines. The relatively low number of fixed lines is mirrored with fixed-broadband, with the result that more than 98% of all internet connections are via mobile networks.
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.
Sonatel (Orange Senegal), Free Senegal (Sentel, Tigo Senegal), Saga Africa Holdings, Sudatel (Expresso), Arc Informatique, Globacom, Mainstreet Technologies, Lycamobile Senegal
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