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Eritrea - Telecoms, Mobile and Internet

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Market Briefing
Published: June 2014
Pages: 12
Research from: Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd.
Sector: Mobile

From: GBP 156.00
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The least developed telecoms market in Africa

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Eritrea’s telecommunications market. Subjects covered include:

  • Key statistics;
  • Market and industry overviews;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
  • Internet and broadband development and growth;
  • Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);
  • Mobile voice and data markets.

Under a state-owned monopoly on fixed and mobile services, Eritrea is the least developed telecommunications market in Africa with a mobile penetration of only around 6% in early 2014. Solely the internet service provider (ISP) sector is open to competition. Growth in the mobile and internet sector is now accelerating as the national telco, the Eritrean Telecommunication Services Corporation (EriTel) is rolling out a third generation (3G) mobile network, but more investment into telecom infrastructure is needed. As a first step, Eritreans were given the opportunity to buy shares in EriTel for the first time in 2013.

Foreign investment and the introduction of more competition would transform this virtually untapped market. Eritrea was ranked first among the Top Five African markets for ICT investment in 2012. The country's economy is poised for a boom from mining which was recently opened to foreign participation, offering attractive incentives to investors.

Market highlights:

  • The market with the highest growth potential in Africa;
  • Privatisation of EriTel seen as first step towards market liberalisation;
  • More investment in telecom infrastructure is needed;
  • Emerging mining sector set to boost local economy.

Estimated market penetration rates in Eritrea’s telecoms sector – end 2014

Penetration rate

(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Companies covered in this report:

  • Eritrean Telecommunication Services Corporation (EriTel)

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