BMI View: Sierra Leone remains one of the least attractive Sub-Saharan Africa telecoms markets, asmany mobile consumers are based in low-margin rural areas and the high cost of wireline access and PCsis a barrier to broadband adoption. A weak regulatory model, with state intervention a major risk, is alsounattractive. Minor players have struggled to develop sustainable businesses due to low returns oninvestment and Orange's main reason for buying Airtel was to help proliferate its mobile money service.
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Organic mobile subscription growth is possible, given the low penetration rate, but requires investment inrural areas. Renewed competition between Orange and incumbent Africell would drive serviceimprovements and higher engagement with advanced networks.