Chad continues to improve international internet connectivity

Chad continues to improve international internet connectivity

During the last decade Chad’s economy has been dominated by oil exports, and as a result economic growth has been affected by the changing prices for the commodity on international markets. Recent economic difficulties have been exacerbated by civil unrest, an influx of refugees from neighbouring countries, and the economic downsides resulting from the pandemic.

The country remains one of the least developed on the continent, while telecom infrastructure is particularly poor, with penetration rates in all sectors – fixed, mobile and internet – well below African averages. Nevertheless, despite difficult operating conditions, large scale poverty and low spending power, Chad’s telecom market offers some potential for investors to develop services given the low starting base.

The two main operators Moov Africa Chad and Airtel Chad have invested in infrastructure and have become the main providers of voice and data services. However, the difficult economic conditions of the country, compounded by taxes on telecom services which have adversely affected customer spend and operator revenue, encouraged these players to consider exiting the market.

The mobile sector has developed steadily under the auspices of these two operators. The national telco and fixed-line operator Sotel Tchad operates the country’s third mobile network, as Salam Mobile, though it is mainly focussed on voice services since it depends on GPRS and EDGE technologies (which can provide only basic mobile data services). The country’s first 3G/LTE mobile licence was awarded in April 2014.

Chad finally gained access to international fibre bandwidth in 2012. Its national backbone infrastructure remains underdeveloped. The World Bank-funded Central African Backbone (CAB) project takes in Chad, while the country is also party to a Trans-Saharan Backbone project which will link a fibre cable to Nigeria and Algeria. Investment in the national backbone is continuing and though progress across all 12 sectors has been hampered by delays a major link was opened in September 2019.

Key developments:

  • International mobile roaming charges eliminated among Central African Economic and Monetary Community countries;
  • Moov Chad increases the number of mobile base stations, preps for FttP rollout;
  • Government approves three-part telecom infrastructure upgrade project as part of the Strategic Plan for Digital Development and Posts 2020-2030;
  • 2021 Finance Law reduces spectrum fees;
  • N'Djamena - Adré axis fibre link is opened;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market updates to 2020, operator data to Q3 2021, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

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Developing Telecoms market report summaries are produced in partnership with BuddeComm, the world’s largest continually updated online telecommunications research service.

The above article is a summary of the following BuddeComm report:

Report title: Chad - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Edition: December 2021

Analysts: Henry Lancaster, Peter Lange

Number of pages: 132

Companies mentioned in this report: Sotel Tchad, TchadNet, Airtel Chad, Tigo Chad, Tchad Mobile (Orascom), Maroc Telecom, Sitcom, Salam Mobile

Single User PDF Licence Price: US$890

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