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Sierra Leone - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Sierra Leone has enjoyed sustained political stability in recent years, following a decade of civil war. The departure of the UN's local mission in March 2014 marked the end of more than 15 years of international peacekeeping operations in the country. The exceptional economic growth seen in 2012 and 2013 has slowed but remains strong, and this has encouraged international companies to invest in the country. Nevertheless, the telecommunications infrastructure is only gradually recovering from the destruction caused during the war years, and the theft of equipment and cabling. These difficult operating conditions have been compounded by neglect, mismanagement and underinvestment, factors which have seen the demise of some telcos, including Comium and Smart Mobile. The telecom regulator continues with its efforts to improve the market, including the liberalisation of the international gateway and regulator checks on quality of services. It has not shied from fining miscreant operators for providing poor services, or for promoting packages deemed to be disadvantageous to consumers.

Given the poor state of the fixed-line infrastructure, the mobile sector has been the main driver of overall telecom revenue. There continues to be movement in the market, with Orange Group in mid-2016 having completed its acquisition of Bharti Airtel's local unit and the Gambian telco QCell being awarded a licence to operate mobile services.

The state-owned fixed-line incumbent Sierratel has entered the mobile market, which it uses to provide fixed-wireless access and broadband services. It briefly had a monopoly on 3G mobile services before other operators launched their own services based on HSPA technology in 2011 and 2012. More recently network operators have invested in LTE upgrades: Africell was the first network operator to launch LTE services in Sierra Leone, followed by Sierratel in January 2018.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

Hammer Wireless launches fixed wireless services;

Sierratel launches LTE services, starts major investment program for 2019;

Regulator approves 27% price increase for mobile voice calls;

MNOs increase investment to provide national mobile coverage;

Regulator selects Subah Infosolutions Ghana to manage the international gateway;

Construction of 600km ECOWAS Wide Area Network completed;

Airtel completes rebranding as Orange Sierra Leone;

Sierratel relaunches a fixed-telephony network following USD 30 million investment;

Report update includes operator data to September 2018, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Sierra Leone Telecommunications Company (Sierratel), Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), Comium, Africell (Lintel), Millicom (Tigo), Cellcom, LapGreen (Ambitel, GreenN), Access Point Africa, Afcom, African Information Technology Holdings (AITH), Onlime (LimeLine).

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Table Of Content

Scope

1 Key statistics

2 Country overview

3 COVID-19 and its impact on the telecom sector

3.1 Economic considerations and responses

3.2 Mobile devices

3.3 Subscribers

3.4 Infrastructure

4 Telecommunications market

4.1 Market analysis

5 Regional Africa Market Comparison

5.1 TMI vs GDP

5.2 Mobile and mobile broadband

5.3 Fixed and mobile broadband

6 Regulatory environment

6.1 Historical overview

6.2 Regulatory authority

6.3 Quality of Service (QoS)

6.4 Telecom sector liberalisation

7 Fixed network operators

7.1 Sierratel

7.2 Other operators

8 Telecommunications infrastructure

8.1 Overview of the national telecom network

8.2 International infrastructure

9 Fixed-line broadband market

9.1 Introduction and statistical overview

10 Mobile market

10.1 Market analysis

10.2 Mobile data

10.3 Mobile broadband

10.4 Mobile infrastructure

10.5 Major mobile operators

10.6 Mobile content and applications

11 Related reports

Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities Sierra Leone 2018 (e)

Table 2 Historic-Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1999 2009

Table 3 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010-2018

Table 4 International bandwidth 2010 2016

Table 5 Historic-Internet users and penetration rate 1999 2009

Table 6 Internet users and penetration rate 2010 2018

Table 7 GSM licence awards and operations in Sierra Leone

Table 8 Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2000 2009

Table 9 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010 2018

Table 10 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2014 2018

Table 11 Historic-Celtel/Zain SL subscribers and market share 2003 2009

Table 12 Orange Sierra Leone mobile subscribers 2016 2018

Chart 1 Overall Africa view-Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita 2018

Chart 2 West Africa-Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita 2018

Chart 3 Africa Middle-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Challengers) 2018

Chart 4 West Africa Telecoms Maturity Index by country 2018

Chart 5 West Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration 2018

Chart 6 West Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates 2018

Chart 7 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 2018

Chart 8 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2018

Exhibit 1 Map of Sierra Leone

Exhibit 2 Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment

Exhibit 3 West Africa-Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country

Exhibit 4 West African common regulatory framework

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Products and Companies

Products

paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, country profile, Broadband Fixed, Companies (Major Players), Internet, Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Regulations & Government Policies, Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets), Telecoms Infrastructure, Africa, Sierra Leone


Companies

Sierra Leone Telecommunications Company (Sierratel), Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), Comium, Africell (Lintel), Millicom (Tigo), Cellcom, LapGreen (Ambitel, GreenN), Access Point Africa, Afcom, African Information Technology Holdings (AITH), Onlime (LimeLine).

Company Profile

Company Profile Title

Sierra Leone has enjoyed sustained political stability in recent years, following a decade of civil war. The departure of the UN's local mission in March 2014 marked the end of more than 15 years of international peacekeeping operations in the country. The exceptional economic growth seen in 2012 and 2013 has slowed but remains strong, and this has encouraged international companies to invest in the country. Nevertheless, the telecommunications infrastructure is only gradually recovering from the destruction caused during the war years, and the theft of equipment and cabling. These difficult operating conditions have been compounded by neglect, mismanagement and underinvestment, factors which have seen the demise of some telcos, including Comium and Smart Mobile. The telecom regulator continues with its efforts to improve the market, including the liberalisation of the international gateway and regulator checks on quality of services. It has not shied from fining miscreant operators for providing poor services, or for promoting packages deemed to be disadvantageous to consumers.

Given the poor state of the fixed-line infrastructure, the mobile sector has been the main driver of overall telecom revenue. There continues to be movement in the market, with Orange Group in mid-2016 having completed its acquisition of Bharti Airtel's local unit and the Gambian telco QCell being awarded a licence to operate mobile services.

The state-owned fixed-line incumbent Sierratel has entered the mobile market, which it uses to provide fixed-wireless access and broadband services. It briefly had a monopoly on 3G mobile services before other operators launched their own services based on HSPA technology in 2011 and 2012. More recently network operators have invested in LTE upgrades: Africell was the first network operator to launch LTE services in Sierra Leone, followed by Sierratel in January 2018.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

Hammer Wireless launches fixed wireless services;

Sierratel launches LTE services, starts major investment program for 2019;

Regulator approves 27% price increase for mobile voice calls;

MNOs increase investment to provide national mobile coverage;

Regulator selects Subah Infosolutions Ghana to manage the international gateway;

Construction of 600km ECOWAS Wide Area Network completed;

Airtel completes rebranding as Orange Sierra Leone;

Sierratel relaunches a fixed-telephony network following USD 30 million investment;

Report update includes operator data to September 2018, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Sierra Leone Telecommunications Company (Sierratel), Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), Comium, Africell (Lintel), Millicom (Tigo), Cellcom, LapGreen (Ambitel, GreenN), Access Point Africa, Afcom, African Information Technology Holdings (AITH), Onlime (LimeLine).

READ MORE

Scope

1 Key statistics

2 Country overview

3 COVID-19 and its impact on the telecom sector

3.1 Economic considerations and responses

3.2 Mobile devices

3.3 Subscribers

3.4 Infrastructure

4 Telecommunications market

4.1 Market analysis

5 Regional Africa Market Comparison

5.1 TMI vs GDP

5.2 Mobile and mobile broadband

5.3 Fixed and mobile broadband

6 Regulatory environment

6.1 Historical overview

6.2 Regulatory authority

6.3 Quality of Service (QoS)

6.4 Telecom sector liberalisation

7 Fixed network operators

7.1 Sierratel

7.2 Other operators

8 Telecommunications infrastructure

8.1 Overview of the national telecom network

8.2 International infrastructure

9 Fixed-line broadband market

9.1 Introduction and statistical overview

10 Mobile market

10.1 Market analysis

10.2 Mobile data

10.3 Mobile broadband

10.4 Mobile infrastructure

10.5 Major mobile operators

10.6 Mobile content and applications

11 Related reports

Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities Sierra Leone 2018 (e)

Table 2 Historic-Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1999 2009

Table 3 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010-2018

Table 4 International bandwidth 2010 2016

Table 5 Historic-Internet users and penetration rate 1999 2009

Table 6 Internet users and penetration rate 2010 2018

Table 7 GSM licence awards and operations in Sierra Leone

Table 8 Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2000 2009

Table 9 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010 2018

Table 10 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2014 2018

Table 11 Historic-Celtel/Zain SL subscribers and market share 2003 2009

Table 12 Orange Sierra Leone mobile subscribers 2016 2018

Chart 1 Overall Africa view-Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita 2018

Chart 2 West Africa-Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita 2018

Chart 3 Africa Middle-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Challengers) 2018

Chart 4 West Africa Telecoms Maturity Index by country 2018

Chart 5 West Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration 2018

Chart 6 West Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates 2018

Chart 7 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 2018

Chart 8 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2018

Exhibit 1 Map of Sierra Leone

Exhibit 2 Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment

Exhibit 3 West Africa-Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country

Exhibit 4 West African common regulatory framework

• Single User Licences (for access by one person),
• 10 User Licences (for access for up to 10 Users),
• 20 User Licences (for access for up to 20 Users), and
• Site Licences (allow access by all staff within the country of purchase).

To know more information on Purchase by Section, please send a mail to support@kenresearch.com

INQUIRE FOR COVID-19 IMPACT ANALYSIS

Products

paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, country profile, Broadband Fixed, Companies (Major Players), Internet, Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Regulations & Government Policies, Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets), Telecoms Infrastructure, Africa, Sierra Leone


Companies

Sierra Leone Telecommunications Company (Sierratel), Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), Comium, Africell (Lintel), Millicom (Tigo), Cellcom, LapGreen (Ambitel, GreenN), Access Point Africa, Afcom, African Information Technology Holdings (AITH), Onlime (LimeLine).