According to afrol News, Senegalese incumbent fixed line operator Sonatel has doubled traffic bandwidth on internet services in less than two years. Today, Sonatel claims to have the second most extensive range of internet access services in sub-Saharan Africa. In a press release Sonatel said that by 7 September 2006, ‘bandwidth of traffic on the submarine cables of Sonatel…passed the mark of 1.24Gbps’.
Sonatel has been increasing internet bandwidth since 2002 when it rose from 42Mbps to 53Mbps in June that year. By November 2004 it had already increased tenfold, to 512Mbps, and today has again doubled again to 1.24Gbps. The growth in internet traffic reflects the boom in the number of internet users in Senegal in recent years. As prices for broadband installation and services decrease, a bigger segment of the population is starting to use the internet at work and at home. Standard broadband subscriptions cost around EUR80 for the installation and EUR40 a month for the service itself, although even cheaper deals can be found. However, the key to the growth has been the upsurge in popularity of cybercafés, which offer a high speed internet line for as little as EUR0.45 per hour.