Madagascar - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Madagascar - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

  • March 2022 •
  • 123 pages •
  • Report ID: 3883145 •
  • Format: PDF
Madagascar sees increase in fixed broadband subscriber base

Over the years, Madagascar has proved to be a difficult environment for fixed ISPs.

Of the nine which were licensed initially, at least four soon went out of business. High subscription costs put internet accessbeyond the reach of much of the population, and as a result most users gained access at work, cybercafes, public internet access centres, or telecentres. The sector is highly concentrated, with about four-fifths of subscribers being in the capital city.

DSL services were launched in 2005, and soon afterwards the World Bank provided funds to help improve internet connectivity as part of a wider regional communications infrastructure program, which aimed to improve international links to countries in eastern and southern Africa. Madagascar was included in the first phase of the project, together with Kenya and Burundi.

The arrival of two international submarine cables to Madagascar in 2009 and 2010 reduced the cost of international bandwidth, while the rollout of Telma’s national fibre backbone network more than halved the retail price of internet services. These price reductions are expected to continue during the next few years. Following on from the IOX cable coming on-stream in early 2019, the METISS cable was lit in 2021, and the Africa-1 cable will provide further redundancy and help reduce access pricing when it comes into service in 2023.

The poor quality of the copper network was a major problem for DSL services, which encouraged the rollout of fibre based broadband. In terms of subscriber numbers, fibre overtook DSL in 2018. Since then the number of DSL subscribers has become negligible, while fibre has grown strongly.

Key Developments:

  • Airtel Africa partners with Unicef to provide internet services to schools in Madagascar; sells its tower infrastructure to Helios Towers;
  • Telma ordered to suspend its 5G service, removes obsolete CDMA lines;
  • METISS submarine cable comes into commercial use, connecting Madagascar with South Africa and Mauritius;
  • Regulator proposes revision of wholesale internet pricing in a bid to improve competition;
  • Madagascar hosts landing station for the Africa-1 cable system;
  • Gulfsat Madagascar secures licence to become the second national backbone provider;
  • Orange Madagascar completes national LTE-A network upgrade;
  • Telecom service tax drops to 8%;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data updates for 2020, telcos' operating data to Q4 2021, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of the pandemic on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Telecom Malagasy (Telma), Airtel Madagascar (Zain, Celtel), Orange Madagascar, Madamobil, Gulfsat Madagascar (Blueline), Datacom, Data Telecom Services (DTS, Moov)


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