Burkina Faso - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

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Burkina Faso - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Viettel emerges as sole bidder for the fourth multi-service licence

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

Subjects covered include:

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

Despite fresh investment in Burkina Faso's telecom sector, new technologies have been slow to take hold. Delays in the development of a 3G service has hobbled the potential of broadband services. Nevertheless, the poor state of fixed-line networks have meant that in recent years the number of fixed-line subscribers has fallen steadily as customers migrate to the limited services available from the three mobile network operators. The fixed-line incumbent Onatel, majority-owned by Maroc Telecom, operates the country's fixed-line network, a CDMA2000 wireless network, a fibre optic backbone and one of three GSM mobile networks, Telmob.

Mobile telephony has experienced strong growth since competition was introduced in 2000 by Celtel/Zain (now Bharti Airtel) and Telecel International (now Moov). Although market penetration remains below the African average, is continues to grow steadily, including a 30% growth in the number of subscribers in 2012 alone.

Onatel's FasoNet is the country's leading internet service provider, dominating the broadband market with its ADSL and EV-DO offerings. Penetration rates in this sector are still extremely low and services remain expensive despite some price cuts since 2011. Being landlocked, Burkina Faso for long depended on expensive satellite links for its international bandwidth, though in recent years connectivity has been facilitated by transit fibre links through neighbouring countries which have access to the region's international fibre optic submarine cables: the four submarine cables which land in Ghana have reduced the cost of international bandwidth. A number of Burkina Faso's other neighbouring countries also have access to multiple international cables. However, consumers and the country's entire economy will only benefit from lower broadband prices if Onatel passes these cost savings on to them and also to other ISPs on the wholesale level.

The mobile operators have entered the underdeveloped internet sector by offering mobile data services using GPRS and EDGE technology, but third generation (3G) mobile broadband technology has not yet been introduced except for Onatel's EV-DO fixed-wireless service. An international tender for a new combined fixed and mobile licence was unsuccessful in 2010, but a much-delayed fourth mobile licence and 3G licences for all operators are expected in 2014, with Viettel emerging as a bidder early in the year.

Market highlights:

Fourth mobile licence garners sole bidder in Viettel;
Mobile penetration grows on the back of poor fixed-line infrastructure;
International internet bandwidth increases to 1.1Gb/s;
Finance Act 2014 mandates a 5% tax on telcos.

Estimated market penetration rates in Burkina Faso's telecoms sector end-2013
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 64%
Fixed | 0.9%
Internet | 4.8%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Key developments:

Includes the regulator's annual report for 2012; telcos' financial and operating data to Q1 2013, market developments to SeptemberJan 2014.

Companies covered in this report:

Onatel, Telmob, Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), Moov (Telecel, Etisalat), FasoNet, ZCP, Delgi, Cenatrin, CFAO Technologies, River Telecom, Net Access, Maroc Telecom, Vivendi.Henry Lancaster

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Market analysis
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Historic background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.2.1 ARCE (formerly Artel)
4.3 NICI development plan
4.4 West African common regulatory framework 2005
4.5 Market liberalisation
4.5.1 Second fixed-line and fourth mobile licence
4.6 Universal Service Fund
5. Fixed-network operators in Burkina Faso
5.1 Onatel
5.1.1 Services
5.1.2 Privatisation
5.1.3 IPO
5.1.4 National telecom network
5.1.5 Fixed-line statistics
5.1.6 Wireless Local Loop (WLL), CDMA2000 1x
5.1.7 National fibre backbone
5.2 International infrastructure
6. Internet market
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Internet statistics
6.2 Public Internet access locations
6.3 Low-cost computers
6.4 ISP market
6.4.1 Onatel (FasoNet)
6.4.2 Other ISPs
6.5 E-government
7. Broadband market
7.1 Overview
7.2 ADSL
7.3 EV-DO
7.4 WiMAX
7.5 Broadband via satellite
8. Mobile communications
8.1 Overview of Burkina Faso's mobile market
8.1.1 Mobile statistics
8.2 Major mobile operators
8.2.1 Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel)
8.2.2 Telmob (Onatel)
8.2.3 Moov (Telecel, Etisalat)
8.3 Mobile data services
8.3.1 SMS
8.3.2 MMS
8.3.3 GPRS, EDGE
8.4 Third generation (3G)
9. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Burkina Faso 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 Onatel subscribers by service 2010- 2013
Table 8 Onatel financial data 2011 - 2013
Table 9 Historic - Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Burkina Faso 1999 - 2004
Table 10 Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Burkina Faso 2005 - 2013
Table 11 Burkina Fasos international internet bandwidth 2002 - 2012
Table 12 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Burkina Faso 1999 - 2004
Table 13 Internet users and penetration rate in Burkina Faso 2005 - 2014
Table 14 Internet subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 15 Mobile internet subscribers 2011 - 2012
Table 16 FasoNet (Onatel) internet subscribers 2006 - 2013
Table 17 ADSL (Onatel) subscribers in Burkina Faso 2005 - 2014
Table 18 FasoNet (Onatel) ADSL pricing 2009/10 vs. 2011/12
Table 19 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Burkina Faso 1999 - 2004
Table 20 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Burkina Faso 2005 - 2014
Table 21 Mobile operator market share of subscribers 2011 - 2012
Table 22 Bharti Airtel mobile subscribers 2006 - 2013
Table 23 Onatel mobile subscribers 2007 - 2013
Table 24 Onatel mobile services revenue 2011 - 2013
Table 25 Onatel annualised subscribers and ARPU 2011 - 2013
Table 26 Telecel mobile subscribers 2007 - 2013
Chart 1 Onatel subscribers by service 2010- 2013
Chart 2 Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Burkina Faso 2005 2014
Chart 3 Internet users and penetration rate in Burkina Faso 2005 2014
Chart 4 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Exhibit 1 Map of Burkina Faso
Exhibit 2 West African common regulatory framework 2005

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