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Benin - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Benin now connected to the ACE submarine cable system

Although the telecom market in Benin continues to face considerable hurdles given the country's poor fixed-line infrastructure, recent developments suggest that the sector will be transformed in coming years. Much of this transformation is due to improved international internet connectivity and the rapidly escalating bandwidth available. This is encouraging the deployment of widely available and cheaper services than hitherto. Encouraged by these developments, operators have continued to invest in mobile services which in turn are supporting a range of mobile data applications including m-commerce. Improved telecoms infrastructure 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 be.Telecoms (rebranded from Benin Telecoms in October 2015) 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 pushed market penetration above 100% by mid-2014.

Although fixed-line internet services have been available in Benin since 1995, access is limited a small proportion of the population. Fixed-line internet represents less that 10% of all accesses, with most connections being made via 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, with contract subscribers representing only about 0.4% of the total subscriber base.

Estimated market penetration by service end-2014
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 102%
Fixed | 1.7%
Internet | 11.8%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Key developments:

Benin's connection to the ACE submarine network inaugurated;
Benin Telecom rebrands as be.Telecoms;
Regulator commissions report on the introduction of MNP;
MTN Benin signs five-year Managed Rural Coverage deal with Ericsson;
Orange commissions new connection from the ACE submarine cable, connecting Benin with Tenerife;
Etisalat Group completes sale of Atlantique Telecom (Moov) operations to Maroc Telecom;
be.Telecoms preps for LTE service launch;
Orange enters talks to acquire Libercom;
Etisalat Moov launches 3G services, introduces its Flous' m-commerce service;
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donate funds to a mobile vaccine registry program;
Regulator renamed as the Autorité de Regulation des Communications et de la Poste (ARCEP);
Report update includes telcos' operating data to Q2 2015, regulator's market data to June 2015, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

MTN, Moov (Telecel), Libercom, BBCom (Bell Benin), Glo Mobile (Globacom), be.Telecoms (Benin Telecoms, formerly 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
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 be.Telecoms (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. Broadband market
7.1 Overview
7.2 Internet statistics
7.3 Public Internet Access Locations
7.3.1 Telecentre projects
7.4 ISP market
7.4.1 Kanakoo (formerly BeninNet)
7.4.2 Isocel Telecom
7.4.3 Other ISPs
7.4.4 Benin Internet Service Providers Association (AFAIB)
7.5 Benin Internet Society
7.6 ADSL
7.7 EV-DO
7.8 WiMAX
7.9 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
8. Mobile Market
8.1 Overview of Benin's mobile market
8.2 Mobile statistics
8.2.1 General Statistics
8.2.2 Mobile broadband statistics
8.2.3 Mobile market shares
8.3 Regulatory issues
8.3.1 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
8.4 Major mobile operators
8.4.1 MTN (Spacetel-Benin, Areeba)
8.4.2 Moov (Etisalat Moov)
8.4.3 Libercom (Benin Telecoms)
8.4.4 BBCom (Bell Benin)
8.4.5 Glo Mobile Benin (Globacom)
8.5 Government confrontation with MTN and Moov
8.6 Mobile infrastructure
8.6.1 Spectrum auction 2013
8.6.2 GPRS
8.6.3 3G/UMTS
8.6.4 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
8.6.5 WiFi
8.6.6 Satellite mobile
8.7 Mobile services and content
8.7.1 SMS
8.7.2 MMS
8.7.3 M-banking
8.7.4 M-Health
9. Related reports
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 Country statistics Benin 2014 (e)
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2014 (Jun)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2014
Table 4 Internet and social media user statistics 2014 (Mar)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2014 (Jun)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Telecom market investment by sector 2012 - 2014
Table 8 Fixed-line and mobile revenue 2006 - 2014
Table 9 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1999 - 2004
Table 10 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2016
Table 11 Fixed lines in service by type 2006 - 2014
Table 12 Benin's international internet bandwidth 2000 - 2013
Table 13 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate 1999 - 2004
Table 14 Internet subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 15 Internet subscribers by technology 2009 - 2015
Table 16 DSL subscribers 2004 - 2014
Table 17 Fixed-line broadband subscribers 2003 - 2014
Table 18 WiMAX broadband subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 19 Prepaid and contract subscribers 2013 - 2014
Table 20 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1999 - 2004
Table 21 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2016
Table 22 Prepaid and contract mobile subscribers 2012 - 2015
Table 23 Mobile market investments 2006- 2013
Table 24 Mobile internet subscribers 2009 - 2015
Table 25 Mobile internet subscribers by operator 2008 - 2014
Table 26 Mobile market share of subscribers by operator 2012 - 2015
Table 27 MTN Benin subscribers and ARPU 2003 - 2014
Table 28 MTN Benin revenue 2011 - 2014
Table 29 Moov subscribers 2011 - 2015
Table 30 Libercom subscribers 2011 - 2015
Table 31 BBCom subscribers 2011 - 2015
Table 32 Glo Mobile subscribers 2011 - 2014
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2016
Chart 2 Internet subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Chart 3 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2016
Exhibit 1 West African common regulatory framework 2005
Exhibit 2 Map of Benin

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