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Senegal - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

The Senegal - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation.

Executive summary

3G mobile broadband gaining market share despite high prices Senegal’s economy has grown 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 early 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 is currently migrating to GSM, including 3G mobile broadband technology. 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, and Sentel’s licence is being challenged by the government.

Although mobile market penetration has passed the 60% mark, the average revenue per user in Senegal is relatively high. A wide range of value-added services is available to subscribers, including mobile Internet access.

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. Despite this, broadband services in the country are relatively advanced, including broadband TV and converged triple-play services. Sonatel has progressively reduced its prices following the arrival of a second international fibre optic submarine cable in 2007, with two more scheduled for 2011 and 2012. On the retail level, however, some broadband prices have come down in 2010 while others have gone up.

Market highlights:

Forecasts to end-2011 for mobile, fixed-line and Internet market;
GDP growth forecast to 2015;
Mobile market penetration has passed 60%;
Profiles of major players in all market sectors;
Further government divestiture of Sonatel announced;
Sonatel financial results history;
Update on licence disputes;
3G mobile rollouts;
Internet and broadband pricing trends 2009, 2010;
New international fibre optic submarine cables expected in 2011 and 2012.Expresso CDMA fixed-wireless access subscribers - 2009 - 2010
2010 (Jun)48
(Source: BuddeComm based on ARTP, company and industry data)
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.Table 1 - Country statistics Senegal - 2010
Country statistics
Population (e)13.1 million
Land area197,000 sq km
Local currency505 CFA Franc (XOF) = US$1
GDP at current prices (e)US$13.5 billion
GDP per capitaUS$1,026
GDP real growth rate3.4%
Table 2 - Fixed-line network statistics - 2010
Fixed-line network statistics
Fixed telephone lines in service (Jun)269,000
Fixed-line teledensity2.1%
Major fixed network operators
Orange (Sonatel)
Expresso (Sudatel)
Table 3 - Internet provider statistics - 2010


Number of ISPs13
Major ISPs
Orange (Sonatel Multimedia)
ARC Informatique
Table 4 - Internet statistics - 2010


Internet users (e)1 million
Internet user penetration7.6%
Internet subscribers (Jun)74,200
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2010
Mobile statistics
Mobile subscribers (Jun)7.494 million
Annual change19%
Mobile penetration58%
Major mobile operators
Orange (Sonatel Mobiles)
Tigo (Sentel, Millicom)
Expresso (Sudatel)
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
National telecommunications authority
Regulatory authorityAgence de Régulation des Télécommunications et des Postes (ARTP)
(Compiled by BuddeComm, various industry sources)

With support from the international donor community, bold economic reforms have led to GDP growth in Senegal averaging over 5% pa since the mid-1990s. The inflation rate has been pushed down to the single digits. As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Senegal is working towards greater regional integration. Around two-thirds of economic activity is in the services sector.

Following an energy crisis in 2006 and 2007, the country now produces more than enough electricity to satisfy domestic consumption. Reduced output in the phosphate industry has led to a drop of GDP growth to around 2% p.a. in the past two years, but it is expected to recover in 2010 and return to levels between 4% and 5% from 2011 until the end of the current forecast period (2015). Exhibit 1 - Map of Senegal
(Source: CIA Factbook)

  • Executive summary
    • Table Expresso CDMA fixed-wireless access subscribers - 2009 - 2010
    • Table Country statistics Senegal - 2010
    • Table Fixed-line network statistics - 2010
    • Table Internet provider statistics - 2010
    • Table Internet statistics - 2010
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2010
    • Table National telecommunications authority
    • Country overview (economy)
  • Telecommunications market
    • Overview of Senegal's telecom market
  • Regulatory environment
    • Telecom sector reform
    • Telecommunications Act of 2001
    • Regulatory authority
      • ARTP
    • Universal Service Fund
    • West African common regulatory framework 2005
    • Electronic Transactions Bill
    • Taxes
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • Second national operator (SNO) licence
  • Fixed network operators in Senegal
    • Sonatel (Orange)
      • Subsidiaries
      • Privatisation
      • Financial results
        • Table Sonatel financial results and staff - 2004 - 2010
        • Table Sonatel/Orange fixed-line ARPU - 2004 - 2010
      • Network infrastructure and services
      • Fixed-line statistics
        • Table Sonatel/Orange fixed-lines in service and teledensity - 1999 - 2011
      • Expansion into rural areas
      • Telecentres
      • International expansion
    • Expresso
      • Table Expresso CDMA fixed-wireless access subscribers - 2009 - 2010
  • International infrastructure
    • Satellite
    • Terrestrial fibre and microwave
    • Submarine fibre
      • SAT-3/WASC
      • New international submarine fibre optic cables, 2009-2012
        • Table New international submarine fibre optic cables in West Africa - 2009 - 2012
  • Internet market
    • Overview
      • Table Internet users and penetration rate - 1999 - 2011
      • Table Internet subscribers - 2000 - 2010
    • Internet connectivity
      • Table International Internet bandwidth - 2002 - 2009
      • National Research and Education Network (NREN)
    • Low-cost computers
    • ISP market
      • Orange (Sonatel)
      • ARC Informatique
      • Expresso
      • Other ISPs
  • Broadband market
    • ADSL
      • Table ADSL subscribers - 2004 - 2010
      • Table Sonatel/Orange ADSL pricing - 2009, 2010
    • WiFi
  • Convergence
    • VoIP
    • IPTV, triple play
    • E-health
    • E-government
    • Smart grids, Broadband over Powerlines (BPL, PLC)
  • Mobile communications
    • Overview of Senegal's mobile market
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2000 - 2011
        • Table Mobile subscribers by operator, technology, annual change - June 2010
    • Regulatory issues
      • Mobile number portability (MNP)
      • Registration of customer details
      • Per-second billing (PSB)
      • MVNO licences
      • Millicom licence dispute
    • Major mobile operators
      • Orange (Sonatel Mobiles)
        • Table Sonatel/Orange mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2010
        • Table Orange mobile ARPU, prepaid versus postpaid - 2004 - 2010
      • Tigo (Sentel GSM)
      • Expresso (Sudatel)
    • Mobile data services
      • SMS
      • MMS
      • GPRS and EDGE
        • Table Orange GPRS/EDGE pricing - 2009; 2010
      • EV-DO
        • Table Expresso EV-DO mobile broadband pricing - 2009; 2010
      • WAP
      • BlackBerry, iPhone
      • Third Generation (3G)
    • Mobile content and applications
      • Manobi
      • M-payments and m-banking

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