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Benin - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Benin - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Technology-neutral license awards in 2013 strengthen the broadband market

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Benin's telecommunications market.

Subjects covered include:

Key statistics;
Market and industry overviews;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
Telecoms operators privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Infrastructure development;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Average Revenue per User;
Internet and broadband development;
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).

The telecom market in Benin continues to face considerable hurdles to overcome the country's poor fixed-line infrastructure. Nevertheless, recent developments suggest that the sector will be transformed in coming years, with services made more widely available, at far cheaper prices, than hitherto. This has the potential to transform many areas of the country's economy, bringing a greater proportion of the population into the orbit of internet commerce and connectivity.

The third submarine cable system, which came online in 2012, has substantially reduced the cost of international bandwidth. The fixed-line monopoly operator Benin Telecoms has also expanded its fixed-wireless and DSL-based broadband services in recent years, extending its national fibre backbone and international fibre connections. Long-established plans to privatise the company have thus far come to nought, though the government is developing its strategy to sell of the company's assets, including the mobile services unit Libercom which will be spun off as a new entity with separate assets.

The mobile telephony sector enjoys effective competition between Libercom, South Africa's MTN, Etisalat's Moov, Globacom's Glo Mobile, and Bell Benin. Competition among these players has pushed market penetration above 90% by mid-2013.

Although fixed-line internet services have been available in Benin since 1995, access is limited a small proportion of the population. By mid-2013, fixed-line internet represented only about 10% of all accesses: most connectivity is through the mobile networks.

The country's first licence for 3G and 4G mobile broadband services was awarded in early 2012. In May 2013 the government launched a tender for Universal Service Licenses'. In the following month licenses were awarded to MTN and Etisalat's Moov. The licences are technology neutral, enabling the operators to offer services based on 3G, LTE and mobile WiMAX technologies.

The vast majority of mobile subscribers are prepaid: by mid-2013 there were about 35,000 contract subscribers, representing only about 0.4% of the total subscriber base.

Market highlights:

New technology-neutral license awards in 2013 to promote broadband connectivity;
Second international submarine fibre optic cable offers pricing competition;
Plans advance to sell off Libercom as a separate company;
Strong growth in the number of mobile internet accesses.

Estimated market penetration by service end-2013
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 92%
Fixed | 1.9%
Internet | 6.3%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Key developments:

Etisalat Moov launches 3G services, introduces its Flous' m-commerce service; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donate funds to a mobile vaccine registry program; report includes telcos' operating data to Q2 2013; regulator's market data to June 2013; market developments to March 2014.

Companies covered in this report:

MTN, Moov (Telecel), Libercom, BBCom (Bell Benin), Glo Mobile (Globacom), Benin Telecoms (OPT), Kanakoo (BeninNet), Isocel, EIT, FirstNet, Arts Bobo, Sobiex Informatique, Global Trading Agency, Afripa Telecom, Thuraya, Nitel, Suburban Telecom, CEB.


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Market analysis and outlook to 2016
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Overview
4.2 West African common regulatory framework 2005
4.3 The big clean-up' 2007
5. Fixed-line operators in Benin
5.1 Benin Telecoms
5.2 Network infrastructure
5.2.1 CDMA2000 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
5.2.2 National fibre backbone
5.3 Fixed-line statistics
6. International infrastructure
6.1 Submarine fibre
6.1.1 SAT-3/WASC
6.1.2 Main One and Glo-1
6.1.3 ACE
6.2 Terrestrial fibre
6.3 Satellite
7. Internet market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
7.2 Public Internet Access Locations
7.2.1 Telecentre projects
7.3 ISP market
7.3.1 Kanakoo (formerly BeninNet)
7.3.2 Isocel Telecom
7.3.3 Other ISPs
7.3.4 Benin Internet Service Providers Association (AFAIB)
7.4 Benin Internet Society
8. Broadband market
8.1 ADSL
8.2 EV-DO
8.3 WiMAX
8.4 WiFi
9. Convergence
9.1 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Benin's mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.1.2 Mobile market shares
10.1.3 Spectrum auction 2013
10.2 Major mobile operators
10.2.1 MTN (Spacetel-Benin, Areeba)
10.2.2 Moov (Etisalat Moov)
10.2.3 Libercom (Benin Telecoms)
10.2.4 BBCom (Bell Benin)
10.2.5 Glo Mobile Benin (Globacom)
10.3 Government confrontation with MTN and Moov
10.4 Mobile data services
10.4.1 SMS
10.4.2 MMS
10.4.3 GPRS
10.5 3G and 4G
10.6 Mobile content and applications
10.6.1 Mobile banking
10.6.2 mHealth
10.7 Satellite mobile
11. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Benin 2013 (e)
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2013 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2013
Table 4 Internet and social media user statistics 2013 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2013 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1999 - 2004
Table 8 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2014
Table 9 Benin's International internet bandwidth 2000 - 2012
Table 10 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate 1999 - 2004
Table 11 Internet subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Table 12 Internet subscribers by technology 2009 - 2013
Table 13 DSL subscribers 2004 - 2013
Table 14 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1999 - 2004
Table 15 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Table 16 Mobile market share of subscribers by operator 2012 - 2013
Table 17 MTN Benin subscribers and ARPU 2003 - 2013
Table 18 MTN Benin revenue 2011 - 2013
Table 19 Moov subscribers 2011 - 2013
Table 20 Libercom subscribers 2011 - 2013
Table 21 BBCom subscribers 2011 - 2013
Table 22 Glo Mobile subscribers 2011 - 2013
Table 23 Mobile internet subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 24 Mobile internet subscribers by provider 2009 - 2013
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2014
Chart 2 Internet subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Chart 3 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Exhibit 1 West African common regulatory framework 2005
Exhibit 2 Map of Benin

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