Mali mobile penetration quickly building to 100%

Mali is rapidly growing in the mobile sector; a third telco may be licensed soon
Market penetration for mobiles is the highest in Mali compared to African averages
Market penetration for mobiles is the highest in Mali compared to African averages


Research and Markets has reported that Mali is seeing a lot of mobile growth and the government is planning to license a third mobile operator in the region.

Analysts say that Mali has market penetration rates far below other African averages in all market sectors except for mobile. The mobile penetration in the region is now quickly building to the 100% mark.

The local telco, Sotelma and its subsidiary Malitel became privatised in 2009 when 51% of the company was sold to Maroc Telecom. The burst of capital and new management have helped the telco emerge much more aggressively and regain market share,

The second mobile and fixed-line operator in the region was France Telecom that entered the market under the Orange brand in 2003, It was quick to gain more than 80% market share by offering converged fixed, mobile and broadband Internet services.

Now there are talks of the government licensing a third mobile operator. The report also mentions that third generation mobile services have already been rolled out, but mobile broadband services are still being developed. ADSL, WiMAX and mobile data services have seen growth in the Internet and broadband sector, but prices remain high due to Mali’s landlocked position, causing a dependency on neighbouring countries for its international fibre bandwidth.

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