Senegal’s Regulation Authority of Post and Telecoms (Autorite de Regulation des Telecoms et des Postes, ARTP) has published its market observatory for the first three months of 2016, illustrating that growth in the country’s mobile sector accelerated in the first three months of this year, following a marked slowdown in 2015. Senegal was home to more than 15.354 million mobile users at 31 March 2016, up 2.64% from 14.959 million cellular users three months earlier — a figure which itself was only 4% higher than the 14.380 million at end-2014 as quarterly growth decelerated to 0.82%, 0.60% and just 0.34% in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2015, respectively. Overall net subscriber additions stood at 395,071 in the three months under review, with gains reported by all three network operators, Orange, Tigo and Sudatel-backed Expresso Telecom. Market leader Orange closed out March with a total of over 8.614 million, compared to 8.415 million the previous quarter, while second-placed Tigo added a net 163,220 users for a total of 3.518 million and Expresso edged up to 3.221 million from 3.188 million.
The fixed line sector, meanwhile, continues to contract. The total number of fixed telephony customers declined 1.5% quarter-on-quarter to 295,820 (including 224,288 residential lines), of which incumbent PTO Sonatel (Orange) controlled 96.5%, up from 94.3% at end-2015, and Sudatel had the remainder (3.5%). In addition, Sonatel (Orange) – which holds a monopoly on the ADSL segment – reported 102,087 broadband (i.e. ADSL) connections, up 1.47% q-o-q, while dial-up usage also stagnated at 18,435 lines. The lack of growth in terms of fixed broadband is, however, in stark contrast to the mobile internet segment where ARTP reported 7.521 million 2G and 3G subscribers at 31 March 2016, up 7.1% q-o-q, and 176,036 mobile internet ‘par cle’ (dongle/key card) users, down from 254,758.