Market Research Logo

Senegal - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband


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

3G mobile broadband devices carry 70% of all internet connections

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Senegal’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;
Consolidation in the mobile sector;
Infrastructure development;
Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;
Average Revenue per User;
Internet and broadband development and growth;
Broadband and mobile data services and pricing trends;
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);
The emergence of m-payment and m-banking services.

Senegal’s economy has been growing at 5% per annum on average since the mid 1990s and has only moderately been affected by the global economic crisis. Representing around 6% of the country’s GDP, the telecom sector is dominated by publicly listed Sonatel, the highly profitable national telco which is now operating under France Telecom’s Orange brand following its partial privatisation in 1997. The government is planning to sell part of its remaining stake to other investors.

Sonatel has one of the most efficient telecom networks in West Africa, offering some of the lowest retail and wholesale prices in the region, although they are still high by global standards. The company is also the market leader in the mobile sector which it has shared with Millicom’s Sentel GSM (later rebranded Tigo) since 1999.

Competition in the fixed-line sector was introduced when Sudan’s Sudatel launched as the second national operator (SNO) in 2009 under the name Expresso. Its licence also includes the country’s third mobile concession. The new entrant initially chose CDMA2000 technology to serve both market segments but switched to GSM technology in 2010, including 3G/HSPA mobile broadband.

However, the licensing of new operators has not always been transparent in Senegal. Both Sentel’s and Sudatel’s licences were awarded under controversial circumstances. Sentel settled a four-year licence dispute with the government in August 2012.

Although mobile market penetration is approaching the 100% mark, the average revenue per user in Senegal is relatively high. A wide range of value-added services is available to subscribers, including mobile broadband Internet access which is rapidly taking market share from fixed-line DSL services.

Development of the Internet market has been hampered by Sonatel’s monopolistic pricing of bandwidth on the only high-capacity international submarine fibre optic cable serving the country until 2007. Despite this, broadband services in Senegal are relatively advanced, including broadband TV (IPTV) and converged triple-play services. Sonatel has progressively reduced its prices following the arrival of several competing international fibre optic submarine cables.

Market highlights:

Mobile market

penetration approaching 100%;
3G mobile broadband represents 70% of all internet connections;
Competition in international fibre bandwidth to boost broadband market;
Mobile licence dispute settled after four years.

Estimated market penetration rates in Senegal’s telecoms sector – end-2013
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 99%
Fixed | 2.4%
Internet | 20%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Companies covered in this report:

Sonatel (France Telecom, Orange), Millicom (Sentel, Tigo), Sudatel (Expresso), Arc Informatique, Globacom, Mainstreet Technologies.


1. Executive summary
2. Key Statistics
2.1 Country overview (economy)
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Senegal’s telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Telecom sector reform
4.2 Telecommunications Act of 2001
4.3 Regulatory authority
4.3.1 ARTP
4.4 Universal Service Fund
4.5 West African common regulatory framework 2005
4.6 Electronic Transactions Bill
4.7 Taxes
4.8 Telecom sector liberalisation
4.8.1 Second national operator (SNO) licence
5. Fixed network operators in Senegal
5.1 Sonatel (Orange)
5.1.1 Subsidiaries
5.1.2 Privatisation
5.1.3 Financial results
5.1.4 Network infrastructure and services
5.1.5 Fixed-line statistics
5.1.6 Expansion into rural areas
5.1.7 Telecentres
5.1.8 International expansion
5.2 Expresso
6. International infrastructure
6.1 Satellite
6.2 Terrestrial fibre and microwave
6.3 Submarine fibre
6.3.1 SAT-3/WASC
6.3.2 Glo-1
6.3.3 ACE
6.3.4 Main One
7. Internet market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
7.2 Internet connectivity
7.2.1 National Research and Education Network (NREN)
7.3 Low-cost computers
7.4 ISP market
7.4.1 Orange (Sonatel)
7.4.2 ARC Informatique
7.4.3 Expresso
7.4.4 Other ISPs
8. Broadband market
8.1 ADSL
8.2 WiFi
9. Convergence
9.1 VoIP
9.2 IPTV, triple play
9.3 E-health
9.4 E-government
9.5 Smart grids, Broadband over Powerlines (BPL, PLC)
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Senegal’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Mobile number portability (MNP)
10.2.2 SIM card registration
10.2.3 Per-second billing (PSB)
10.2.4 MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operators)
10.2.5 Millicom licence dispute
10.3 Major mobile operators
10.3.1 Orange (Sonatel Mobiles)
10.3.2 Tigo (Sentel GSM)
10.3.3 Expresso (Sudatel)
10.4 Mobile data services
10.4.1 SMS
10.4.2 MMS
10.4.3 GPRS and EDGE
10.4.4 EV-DO
10.4.5 WAP
10.4.6 BlackBerry, iPhone
10.4.7 Third Generation (3G)
10.5 Mobile content and applications
10.5.1 Manobi
10.5.2 M-payments and m-banking
11. Related reports
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – Country statistics Senegal – 2013
Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2013
Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2013
Table 4 – Internet statistics – 2013
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2013
Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
Table 7 – Sonatel financial results and staff – 2004 - 2012
Table 8 – Sonatel/Orange fixed-line ARPU – 2004 - 2012
Table 9 – Fixed-lines in service and teledensity in Senegal – 1999 - 2013
Table 10 – Expresso Senegal CDMA fixed-wireless access subscribers – 2009 - 2011
Table 11 – Internet users and penetration rate in Senegal – 1999 - 2013
Table 12 – Internet subscribers in Senegal – 2000 - 2012
Table 13 – International Internet bandwidth in Senegal – 2002 - 2011
Table 14 – ADSL subscribers in Senegal – 2004 - 2012
Table 15 – Sonatel/Orange ADSL pricing – 2009; 2010; 2012
Table 16 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Senegal – 2000 - 2013
Table 17 – Mobile subscribers in Senegal by operator and annual change – June 2012
Table 18 – Sonatel/Orange mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2012
Table 19 – Orange Senegal mobile ARPU, prepaid versus postpaid – 2004 - 2012
Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Senegal – 2002 - 2013
Exhibit 1 – Map of Senegal
Exhibit 2 – West African common regulatory framework 2005

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report