State-owned fixed and mobile provider Niger Telecoms has officially launched commercial operations, including 3G mobile voice and data services. In September 2016 the government of Niger approved plans to merge state-owned fixed line operator Societe Nigerienne des Telecommunications (Sonitel) and its mobile unit SahelCom into a single entity, and Niger Telecoms was formally established in December 2016. The move was aimed at streamlining the two companies’ technical and financial resources, improving operational efficiency and profitability and to make it more attractive to potential investors. Niger Telecoms says its 3G network is available in parts of all regions, including Arlit and Konni, with monthly tariffs ranging from XOF2,000 (USD3.7) for 2GB of data to XOF20,000 for 20GB.
La Tribune Afrique writes that Niger Telecoms plans to extend GSM services across the country, as well as construct a new data centre, expand the national backbone network and increase bandwidth from 5.6Gbps to 10Gbps.