Senegal’s mobile Internet users up by 680% in 2011
Senegal’s telecommunications regulator, ARTP, recently published an annual report for 2011. Although their official website makes no mention of any report past the year 2008, Telecompaper has reported on the findings.
The number of Internet subscribers in Senegal grew phenomenally in 2011. There are currently more than twice the number of Internet subscribers than a year ago. Who knows how many new users this equates to (merging ITU data suggests 5 users per subscription). However, the largest gains were in the mobile Internet market. Although the number of mobile subscribers grew by a steady 12%, the number of mobile Internet users grew by staggering 680%. The mobile internet market was driven by factors like Sonatel earning a 3G license, the release of cheaper smartphones, and the popularity of social networks among young consumers. The elections likely played a role as well. Still, growth numbers are high due to a small user-base; at the end of 2011 only 2% of mobile subscriptions included Internet access.
Highlights at the end of 2011 include:
- 77% mobile penetration rate (nearly all pre-paid)
- 1.5% mobile Internet penetration rate
- Market share: Sonatel 65%, Tigo 26%, Expresso 9%
- Internet subscribers grew by 130% to nearly 342,000
- Mobile internet users up by 680% to 188,000
- ADSL subscribers grew by 13% to nearly 93,000
- ITU estimates the proportion of Senegalese Internet users at 15.7 percent
- The calculated Internet subscription rate is therefore 3%, suggesting that there are five Internet users per subscription, on average, across the country