Mali - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

Orange and Ecobank kick-start m-banking services

Home to one of the world's most isolated cities, the fabled Timbuktu, and with a generally challenging geography for the provision of telecommunication services, Mali has market penetration rates below African averages in all market sectors except mobile where it is now racing towards the 100% mark. The division of the country during 2012 with Islamists linked to Al-Qaeda controlling the north cast some uncertainty over future developments, but the recent intervention by French and African troops has resolved the situation at least in the short term. The economy contracted in 2012, but GDP growth has recovered and is expected to remain stable at between 5% and 6% from 2014 onwards.

Orange (France Telecom) was extremely successful when it entered the market as the second mobile and fixed-line operator in 2003. The company quickly amassed more than 80% market share, offering converged fixed, mobile and broadband Internet services.

The national telco, Sotelma with its mobile subsidiary Malitel was privatised in 2009 when a 51% stake was sold to Maroc Telecom. The fresh capital and management has enabled the incumbent to compete much more aggressively and regain market share.

A third mobile operator was licensed in 2012, but the local partner defaulted on its share of the licence fee, putting the joint venture in limbo. Building for the network was only begun in 2014. Despite the high mobile penetration in the country, enormous potential exists in the development of mobile broadband services. The introduction of basic mobile data services as well as ADSL and WiMAX has started to accelerate growth in the internet and broadband market, but Mali's landlocked location makes it dependent on neighbouring countries for international fibre bandwidth, which has kept prices high. Improvements in this sector can be expected from the recent arrival of several new competitive international submarine fibre optic cables in the region.

Key developments:

Delays in Alpha Telecom Mali launching mobile service encourage government to consider issuing a fourth licence;
Work starts on $27.4 million terrestrial fibre cable linking Mali with Mauritania, Morocco, Burkina Faso and Niger.
Orange Mali and Ecobank develop m-banking facilities;
Sonatel begins project to upgrade its network infrastructure;
Operators sell cell towers infrastructure;
Third mobile licence awarded to Alpha Telecom but operator is slow to deploy its network;
New WiMAX network launches;
Mobile penetration broaches 100%;
Aidou Telecom preps to launch as an MVNO;
New international fibre connections improve broadband connectivity;
Report update includes the regulator's market data for 2013, telcos' operating data for 2014, recent market developments.

Estimated market penetration rates in Mali's telecoms sector end-2015 (e)
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 139%
Fixed | 0.8%
Internet | 2.8%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Companies mentioned in this report:

Société des Télécommunications du Mali (Sotelma, Maroc Telecom, Vivendi); Orange Mali (Ikatel, France Telecom); Monaco Telecom; Planor Afrique; Afribone; CEFIB; Datatech.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Mali'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 environment;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Telecoms operators privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Infrastructure development;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Average Revenue per User;
Internet and broadband development and growth;
Broadband and mobile data services and pricing trends;
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Mali's telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.2.1 CRT
4.3 Liberalisation of Mali's telecom sector
4.4 West African common regulatory framework
4.5 Interconnection
5. Fixed network operators in Mali
5.1 Sotelma
5.1.1 Services
5.1.2 Network infrastructure
5.1.3 Wireless Local Loop (WLL), CDMA-2000 1x EV-DO
5.1.4 Privatisation
5.1.5 Financial results 2004-2013
5.2 Orange Mali
5.3 Fixed-line statistics
6. International infrastructure
6.1 Terrestrial/submarine fibre
6.2 New international submarine fibre optic cables
6.3 Satellite
7. Internet market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
7.2 Internet cafes
7.3 Multipurpose Community Telecentres (MCTs)
7.4 The Cybertigi project
7.5 SchoolNet
7.6 One Laptop per Child (OLPC)
7.7 ISP market
7.7.1 Sotelma
7.7.2 Orange Mali
7.7.3 Afribone
7.7.4 CEFIB
7.7.5 Datatech
8. Broadband market
8.1 ADSL
8.2 WiMAX
8.3 Mobile broadband
9. Digital economy
9.1 VoIP telephony
9.2 E-health
9.3 Tele-education
9.4 Facebook
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Mali's mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Third mobile licence
10.3 Fourth mobile licence options
10.4 SIM card registration
10.5 Major mobile operators
10.5.1 Malitel
10.5.2 Orange Mali (formerly Ikatel)
10.5.3 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
10.6 Mobile data services
10.7 Mobile content and applications
10.7.1 M-payments and m-banking
11. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Mali 2014
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2015 (e)
Table 3 Internet and social media user statistics 2015 (e)
Table 4 Mobile statistics 2015 (e)
Table 5 National telecommunications authority
Table 6 Telcom market investments 2005 - 2013
Table 7 Telcom market revenue by sector 2005 - 2013
Table 8 Sotelma fixed-line statistics 2005 - 2013
Table 9 Sotelma financial results 2007 - 2008
Table 10 Sotelma financial results 2009 2011 (after privatisation)
Table 11 Sotelma revenue 2005 - 2013
Table 12 Orange Mali fixed-line statistics 2005 - 2013
Table 13 Historic - Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Mali 1999 - 2004
Table 14 Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Mali 2005 - 2015
Table 15 International bandwidth 2001 - 2013
Table 16 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Mali 1999 - 2004
Table 17 Internet users and penetration rate in Mali 2005 - 2015
Table 18 Internet subscribers, Sotelma vs Orange Mali 2008 - 2012
Table 19 Internet and broadband subscribers 2011 - 2015
Table 20 DSL subscribers 2011 - 2015
Table 21 DSL subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 22 Mobile broadband subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 23 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Mali 2000 - 2004
Table 24 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Mali 2005 - 2015
Table 25 Prepaid and contract mobile subscribers 2005 - 2013
Table 26 Malitel mobile subscribers 2005 - 2013
Table 27 Orange Mali mobile subscribers 2007 - 2014
Table 28 Orange Mali revenue () 2007 - 2014
Table 29 Orange Mali revenue (XOF) 2005 - 2013
Table 30 Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2010 - 2013
Table 31 Orange Mali mobile data pricing 2015
Chart 1 Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Mali 2005 2015
Chart 2 Internet users and penetration rate in Mali 2005 2015
Chart 3 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Mali 2005 - 2015
Exhibit 1 Map of Mali
Exhibit 2 West African common regulatory framework
Exhibit 3 New international submarine fibre optic cables in West Africa 2009 - 2011
Exhibit 4 Orange Mali wireless broadband pricing 2015

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