EriTel privatisation seen as first step towards market liberalisation

Under a state-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. Growth in the mobile and internet sector is now accelerating as the national telco, the Eritrean Telecommunication Services Corporation (EriTel) is rolling out a third generation (3G) mobile network, but more investment into telecom infrastructure is needed. As a first step, Eritreans were given the opportunity to buy shares in EriTel for the first time in January 2013.Foreign investment and the introduction of more competition would transform this virtually untapped market. Eritrea was ranked first among 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.

For more information see: Telecoms Africa

 

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