Zambia hints at fifth telco operator

A fifth telco
for Zambia?

Enough room says
industry regulator.

Wednesday, Feb 26th

Ivory Coast’s mobile market becomes overcrowded

Ivory Coast’s mobile market becomes overcrowded.

Consolidation is forecast to hit Ivory Coast’s telecoms sector, says Market Research Reports.

The research firm has released a summary on its Ivory Coast report, which says that above African average mobile penetration in the country is set to impact the local market.

Ivory Coast has a mobile penetration rate of 83% among its 19.8 million population, according to BuddeComm research.

The country’s mobile market has grown quickly; though, after civil unrest following a disputed presidential election knocked Ivory Coast’s economy in 2011.

Subsequently, Market Research Reports notes that Ivory Coast’s GDP growth rate reached 9.8% in 2012 and is expected to hit 8% for 2013.

South Africa’s MTN and France Telecom-owned Orange dominate Ivory Coast’s market.

“The launch of three more GSM networks between 2006 and 2008 – Moov (owned by Etisalat of the UAE), KoZ (operated by the Lebanese Comium Group) and Oricel Green Network (backed by Libyas LAP Green) – has accelerated the already fast growth and pushed mobile market penetration well above the African average,” says Market Research Reports.

“Two additional operators have been licensed and are preparing to enter the market, but problems with frequency spectrum allocation have caused delays. Some consolidation can be expected in this crowded market in the future,” says the research firm.

While the West African country’s mobile market has boomed, its internet and broadband space has remained underdeveloped, says Market Research Reports.

“The internet and broadband market has remained underdeveloped due to the high cost of international bandwidth, caused by a monopolisation of access to the only international fibre optic submarine cable serving the country until recently.

“This is now beginning to change, following the landing of a second cable in November 2011, with up to three more to follow in the near future.

“Significant reductions in retail pricing for some of the existing ADSL, WiMAX and EV-DO wireless broadband services can already be observed. The biggest game changer, however, will be the recent introduction of 3G mobile services,” says Market Research Reports.

Ivory Coast’s first ever 3G licence was only awarded in March 2012. But the first 3.5G mobile broadband service has been launched, offering up to 42Mbps using HSPA+ technology.

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