Niger abolishes call tax on promise of telco investment boost
Niger is one of the largest countries in West Africa but also one of the poorest countries in the world. Similar to many African countries; a lack of fixed telecoms infrastructure has led to growth in mobile services. Niger's mobile penetration is modest compared to other countries in the region, while fixed broadband penetration is negligible.
However, recent investments aimed at extending the reach of fibre-optic infrastructure in Niger will lead to improved internet networks and access. In late 2016 the country was awarded 43.9 from the African Development Bank (ADB) to build-out the Trans-Saharan Dorsal optical fibre (SDR) network.
Following years of financial difficulties, the state-owned fixed line operator, Sonitel, was merged with its wholly owned mobile unit, SahelCom, in late 2016 to form a new entity, Niger Telecom. The merged company hopes to be more efficient through the sharing of resources and infrastructure. It is also hoped that Niger Telecom will be able to operate more competitively, particularly given that in the crucial mobile sector is holds less than 5% market share.
Government abolishes tax of telecom traffic in exchange for increased telco investments;
Regulator fines network operators for failing to register SIM card owners;
Niger government contributes funds for its share of the Trans-Saharan Backbone network;
Sonitel and SahelCom merge to form Niger Telecom;
Report update includes the regulator's 2016 market report, operator data to Q3 2017, recent market developments.
Companies covered in this report include:
Niger Telecom (Sonitel, SahelCom), Bharti Airtel (Airtel Niger), Orange Niger, Atlantique Telecom, Moov, Maroc Telecom, Etisalat, African Development Bank.
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