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Continued mobile growth in Burkina Faso as fixed broadband lags

September 29, 2012  »  StatisticsOne Comment

Information on the Internet situation in Burkina Faso is much less common than in, say, Ghana. Once a year, however, the national telecom regulator, l’Autorité de Régulation des Communications Eléctroniques (l’ARCE), releases data on domestic mobile and Internet growth. The 2011 annual report (published in July 2012 and distributed in September 2012) provides the most current telecom subscriber figures for the country. In addition, the regulator has summarized steps to encourage 3G licensing and promote cyber security. Key findings are below.

Subscriber Trends:

  • The number of fixed and mobile subscribers has increased from 5,851,813 to 7,823,629, an annual growth rate overall of 34% and a tele-density of 48 telephones per 100 inhabitants.

Mobile growth has been linear since 2009.

  • Market share of the three GSM operators: 39% Airtel, 39% Telmob, 22% Telecel.
  • In 2011, the Regulatory Authority has recorded 9 new Internet suppliers.
  • A total of 45 ISPs are reported, but only 12 are truly active.
  • The Internet subscriber base as of 31 December 2011 was 340,025. 91% of Internet subscribers (308,526) are mobile.
  • ONATEL (Fasonet) Internet subscriber base increased from 28,741 to 31,186 in one year, a growth rate of 5%. 17,123 subscribers of these subscribers, or 55%, used a lower speed connection. In other words, true broadband access is not yet within the reach of the majority of subscribers (see chart below).

Fixed-broadband growth has slowed since ’09.

Regulatory Progress:

  • ARCEP continued 3G licensing consultations with stakeholders.
  • The 3G entrance fee was lowered by the government and the obligations of the tender burdens have been eased by ARCEP.
  • The Regulatory Authority has also, at the request of Orange Niger, led discussions on the conditions for granting an individual license for the establishment and operation of a fiber optic network and leasing capabilities.
  • Management of domain names and IP addresses, cyber security, electronic certification, and migration to IPv6 are other areas that have a positive trend in 2011.
  • New procedures are being studied for a better management of domain names. After the adoption of the national cyber security plan in 2010, it was decided to create a center to combat cyber crime (known as the Computer Incident Response Team).