Telecoms & IT

Gabon Telecoms & IT 2012
The telecoms industry is being redefined by a move toward mobile technology. Mobile subscriptions reached 2.37m in 2011, an increase of 112% since 2007. The mobile market is highly competitive, with four competing operators. With the penetration rate currently reaching the saturation point, operators will have to begin offering new services such as mobile broadband at lower rates to maintain a competitive edge. While a 3G licence has already been awarded, no services have as yet been rolled out. If the eventual introduction of 3G services is successful and affordable for mobile customers, it is expected that these will contribute to the continued steady expansion of the sector. Major changes are under way in the IT sector, with significant investments taking place in digital infrastructure. The installation of a second fibre-optic cable is expected to reduce the cost of access to broadband internet – a move which should help solve the problem of low internet penetration, which currently stands at approximately 18%. The government is also planning for the creation of seven IT flagship zones, which are intended to serve as incubators for small businesses, and is also facilitating a switch toward e-government services. This chapter contains an interview with Alex Bernard Bongo Ondimba, President, National Agency for Digital Infrastructure and Frequencies (ANINF).