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Eritrea: Eritrea Communication Profile


Wi-fi and mobile phone network connections

Under a national-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 2013.

Solely the internet service provider (ISP) sector is open to competition. Increase in the mobile and internet sector is presently accelerating as the national telco, the Eritrean Telecommunication Services Corporation (EriTel) is rolling out a third generation (3G) mobile network, but additional investment into telecom infrastructure is needed. As a initial step, Eritreans were given the opportunity to buy shares in EriTel for the initial time in January 2013.

Foreign investment and the introduction of additional competition would transform this virtually untapped market. Eritrea was ranked initial part 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;
  • Growth in the mobile and internet sector is accelerating ahead of 3G launch;
  • 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 2013

Market Penetration rate
Mobile 7%
Fixed 1%
Internet 8%

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