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Chad: Chad Communication Profile


Despite being Africa’s new exporter of oil, Chad has one of the least developed telecommunications markets in the world. Penetration rates in all market sectors – fixed, mobile and Internet – are well below African averages.

The mobile sector is growing fast under competition between two foreign-owned networks – Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain), and Millicom (Tigo). The national telco and fixed-line operator, Sotel Tchad (ST) operates the country’s third mobile network.

ST has as well rolled out a CDMA2000 fixed-wireless system that supports broadband internet access using EV-DO technology. The mobile networks offer basic mobile data services using GPRS and EDGE technology. Third generation (3G) mobile services have not from presently on been introduced.

Landlocked Chad finally gained access to international fibre bandwidth in 2012, but it still lacks a national backbone infrastructure to support efficient broadband services. All long-distance connections are currently made via satellite. However, the World Bank-funded Central African Backbone (CAB) project has presently laid the foundation for the development of a broadband market.

Market highlights:

  • One of the world’s most underdeveloped markets
  • Access to international fibre bandwidth is set to boost the internet and broadband market
  • However, the country still lacks a national fibre backbone infrastructure
  • Third mobile network launched
  • Almost all cell sites powered by diesel generators

Estimated market penetration rates in Chad’s telecoms sector – end-2013

Market Penetration rate
Mobile 44%
Fixed 0.3%
Internet 2.4%

(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

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