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Ivory Coast mobile market develops fast with three new GSM networks established between 2006 to 2008
Cote d Ivoire (Ivory Coast) - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts - a new market research report on 2014-03-25 03:39:04
Civil unrest following disputed presidential elections led to a contraction of Cote d´Ivoires economy in 2011, but GDP growth reached 9.8% in 2012 and is expected to have reached 8% for 2013.

Although it has two competing fixed network operators, the countrys telecommunications sector is dominated by mobile telephony, with South Africa´s MTN and France Telecom-owned Orange leading the market. The launch of three more GSM networks between 2006 and 2008 – Moov (owned by Etisalat of the UAE), KoZ (operated by the Lebanese Comium Group) and Oricel Green Network (backed by Libyas LAP Green) – has accelerated the already fast growth and pushed mobile market penetration well above the African average. Two additional operators have been licensed and are preparing to enter the market, but problems with frequency spectrum allocation have caused delays. Some consolidation can be expected in this crowded market in the future.

The internet and broadband market has remained underdeveloped due to the high cost of international bandwidth, caused by a monopolisation of access to the only international fibre optic submarine cable serving the country until recently. This is now beginning to change, following the landing of a second cable in November 2011, with up to three more to follow in the near future. Significant reductions in retail pricing for some of the existing ADSL, WiMAX and EV-DO wireless broadband services can already be observed. The biggest game changer, however, will be the recent introduction of 3G mobile services.

Following years of delays, the first 3G licence was finally awarded in March 2012 and the first 3.5G mobile broadband service has been launched, offering up to 42Mb/s using HSPA+ technology. The extensive geographical reach of the mobile networks will now make the internet accessible to a much wider part of the population. With a national backbone network including more than 20,000km of fibre optic cable, Cote dIvoire is in a good position to translate these improvements in competition and infrastructure into a booming broadband market and digital economy.

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