3G on the way in Djibouti, but competition is required

Despite excellent fibre optic connections, Djibouti’s telecoms sector is not growing as fast as it should – largely due to an overly-powerful nation telco, according to Research & Markets.

Djibouti is one of the last countries in the world allowing its national telco, Djibouti Telecom (DT) a monopoly on all telecom services, including fixed lines, mobile, internet and broadband.

The lack of competition has meant that the market has not lived up to its potential, although the country has a service-based economy consistently growing at 5 to 6% per year and is one of the best connected for fibre optic international internet bandwidth in the entire region, supplying transit services to neighbouring countries such as landlocked Ethiopia with a population of 90 million.

Broadband services in Djibouti itself are still very expensive. Growth in the mobile and internet sector is now accelerating as DT is preparing to launch a third generation (3G) mobile network, but competition and foreign investment is needed to unleash the markets full potential. In preparation for this, DT itself is forging international alliances.

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