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Gabon - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

  • July 2016
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 31 pages

Cable infrastructure improving international broadband connectivity in Gabon

Gabon remains one of the wealthiest nations in Africa in terms of GDP per capita, with the economy largely buttressed by oil revenue.
The telecom market was liberalised in 1999 when the government awarded three mobile telephony licences and two Internet Service Provider (ISP) licences and established an independent regulatory authority. Following two unsuccessful attempts, Gabon Telecom was privatised in 2007 when Vivendi-controlled Maroc Telecom bought a 51% stake in the operator.

With competition between three service providers Airtel Gabon (formerly Celtel and Zain), Gabon Telecom's Libertis (owned by Maroc Telecom), and Moov (owned by Etisalat before being sold to Maroc Telecom in May 2014 and in the process of being merged with Libertis) Gabon became one of the first countries in Africa to exceed 100% mobile market penetration (in 2008). Recently the regulator adjusted its recording of mobile penetration, based on a standard adopted by the French telecom regulator, to account for multiple SIM card use among subscribers. Network operators have been able to maintain higher Average Revenue per User (ARPU) than their peers in the region.

The 2009 entry of a fourth network, USAN (operated by Bintel under the brand name Azur) into a competitive market with high penetration triggered a price war that saw revenue and profits dive, forcing the operators to streamline their businesses and to look for new income streams. Following more than a year of delays, a licence to offer 3G mobile broadband services was finally awarded in late 2011. Both Airtel Gabon and Libertis have launched LTE services.

In contrast with the mobile market, Gabon's fixed-line and internet/broadband sectors have remained underdeveloped due to a lack of competition and the resulting high prices. The country has always had sufficient international bandwidth on the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE fibre-optic submarine cable which runs from Portugal via South Africa to the Far East, but this facility has been monopolised by Gabon Telecom. The recent arrival of a second international submarine fibre optic cable (ACE), combined with progressing work on the CAB cable, has supported mobile data services and backhaul.

Key developments:

Regulator finalises universal service strategy aimed at eliminating mobile coverage white spots;
Gabon Telecom launches a 100Mb/s FttP service in Libreville;
Maroc Telecom merges Gabon Telecom and Moov Gabon;
Gabon Telecom to build nationwide fibre network, deliver VoD services;
Connecting cable linking to the CAB completed;
eGabon project launched to improve e-health services;
Regulator promotes MVNO market to maintain competition;
Axione contracted to extend and maintain national telecoms infrastructure;
MNOs begin registering SIM cards to comply with new regulations;
Airtel Gabon opens submarine link between Libreville and Port-Gentil;
Airtel Money service made available to BGFI Bank customers;
3G mobile licence finally awarded;
Libertis launches LTE services, secures new mobile licences;
Airtel Gabon launches commercial LTE service;
Report update includes the regulator's market data to Q1 2016, operator data to Q1 2016, recent market developments.

Market penetration rates in Gabon's telecoms sector 2015
Penetration of telecoms services: | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 1.2%
Fixed internet users | 67%
Mobile SIM (population) | 179%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies mentioned in this report:

Gabon Telecom (Maroc Telecom, Libertis); Bharti Airtel (Zain); Moov (Telecel Gabon); Bintel (USAN, Azur); Internet Gabon; Solsi; IBN Corporate.

Table Of Contents

Gabon - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Market analysis
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Historical overview
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
4.4 Interconnection
5. Fixed network operator
5.1 Gabon Telecom
5.1.1 Privatisation
5.1.2 Financial results
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 Overview of the national telecom network
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Submarine
6.2.2 Terrestrial fibre
7. Fixed-line broadband market
7.1 Introduction and statistical overview
7.2 Market analysis
7.3 Broadband statistics
7.3.1 Gabon Telecom
7.3.2 Internet Gabon
7.3.3 Solsi
7.4 Fixed-line broadband technologies
7.4.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
7.4.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
7.4.3 Other fixed broadband services
7.5 VoIP
8. Digitel economy
8.1 e-health
9. Mobile market
9.1 Market analysis
9.2 Mobile statistics
9.3 Mobile data
9.3.1 SMS
9.4 Mobile broadband
9.5 Mobile infrastructure
9.5.1 High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
9.5.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
9.5.3 Mobile satellite services
9.6 Major mobile operators
9.6.1 Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel)
9.6.2 Libertis (Gabon Telecom)
9.6.3 Moov (Telecel Gabon)
9.6.4 Azur (USAN, BinTel)
9.7 Mobile content and applications
9.7.1 Mobile payments
10. Related reports

List of Charts
Table 1 Country statistics Gabon 2015 (e)
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2015 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2016
Table 4 Internet and social media user statistics 2015 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Gabon Telecom fixed-line/internet vs. mobile revenue 2008 - 2015
Table 8 Gabon Telecom fixed-line/internet vs. mobile revenue (FCFA) 2008 - 2015
Table 9 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1999 - 2009
Table 10 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010 - 2016
Table 11 International bandwidth 2002 - 2014
Table 12 Market share of internet subscribers 2013 - 2016
Table 13 Fixed-line and mobile internet users and penetration rate 2002 - 2016
Table 14 Fixed-line internet subscribers and penetration 2002 - 2016
Table 15 Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration 2003 - 2016
Table 16 Gabon Telecom internet subscribers 2007 - 2016
Table 17 DSL subscribers and penetration 2003 - 2015
Table 18 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1999 - 2009
Table 19 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010 - 2016
Table 20 Mobile market share by operator 2011 - 2016
Table 21 Mobile services revenue 2010 - 2016
Table 22 Mobile ARPU 2014 - 2016
Table 23 Mobile SMS sent 2014 - 2016
Table 24 Mobile broadband users 2012 - 2016
Table 25 Airtel Gabon subscribers 2002 - 2016
Table 26 Libertis subscribers 2007 - 2016
Table 27 Libertis mobile revenue 2011 - 2014
Table 28 Libertis annualised mobile ARPU 2013 - 2015
Table 29 Moov subscribers 2010 - 2016
Table 30 Moov mobile ARPU 2014 - 2015
Table 31 Azur subscribers 2010 - 2016
Chart 1 Gabon Telecom fixed-line/internet vs. mobile revenue 2008 2014
Chart 2 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2002 2016
Chart 3 Mobile subscribers in Gabon 2005 - 2016
Exhibit 1 New international submarine fibre optic cables in West Africa 2010 - 2012

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