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MAP > the Telecommunications Market in Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone has been able to enjoy a much sustained political stability in the recent years, following the decade of the civil war. The departure of United Nations local mission in the year 2014 on March, marked the end of over 15 years of the international peacekeeping operations in this country. Exceptional economic development observed in the year 2012 as well as 2013 has slowed but also remains very strong, and this has been enhanced by the international companies to invest in this country. Nonetheless, telecommunications systems are the only gradual recovering from the destruction that has been caused during war years, as well as theft of the equipment as well as cabling.

Such difficult operating conditions got to be compounded by the neglect, underinvestment and mismanagement, factors which have seen the demise of some of the telco’s, and this includes Comium and the Smart Mobile. Telecom regulator has continued with the efforts to be able to enhance the market, and this includes the liberalization of the international gateway as well as the regulator checks on the quality of the services which are offered. Also, it has not also shied away from the fining miscreant operators for offering the poor services or for even promoting packages that have been deemed to be quite disadvantageous.

Given poor state of fixed-line infrastructure, mobile sector has been the major driver of the overall telecom revenue. There has continued to be the movement in the market, with the Orange group in the mid-2016, and this is having completed the acquisition of Bharti Airtel’s local unit as well as Gambian telco QCell getting awarded a license to be able to operate the mobile services. The fixed-line incumbent Sierratel that is state-owned has joined the mobile market, that it makes use of to offer the fixed wireless access as well as the broadband services. It had the monopoly on the 3G mobile services before the other operators got to launch their based HSPA technology in the year 2012 and also in the year 2011.

In the recent days, the network operators have been able to invest in the LTE upgrades; the Africell became first network operator to be able to launch the LTE services in the Sierra Leone, which was followed by the Sierratel, in the year 2018. Some of the key developments in this report include, Sierratel getting to launch the LTE services, good plans of the major investment program.

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