Côte d'Ivoire - Country Commercial Guide
Telecommunication Equipment and Services

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-10-11

Overview

Côte d’Ivoire has one of the most developed telecommunications sectors in West Africa. The sector constitutes approximately 10 percent of GDP and annually contributes tax revenue of approximately US$800 million.  The national telecom regulator, Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Côte d’Ivoire (ARTCI), is actively issuing decrees to update the 2012 Telecom Code.  The ARTCI’s 2020 annual report states the cellular penetration rate was 149.4 percent in 2020 - confirming many of Côte d’Ivoire’s 26 million citizens have more than one cellular phone account.  Between 2019 and 2020 the number of subscribers increased by 7.1 percent.   Almost 100 percent of mobile accounts are pre-paid, and most people have at least two SIM cards, often for different mobile networks given some uneven cellular coverage.  

There are three major mobile phone operators (Orange, MTN, MOOV) providing service to a total of 39 million accounts.  ARTCI estimates 2G and 3G service covers over 90 percent of the population, and 4G service approximately 59 percent (especially in Abidjan).  The OpenCitiesInitiative.com estimates the greater Abidjan metro area is home to a population of nearly six million inhabitants.  At this time, no companies offer 5G service at this time, though the government has expressed the intention to bring 5G service online by mid-2023.  The mobile money penetration rate is 75.9 percent.  The number of mobile money subscribers increased by 16.5 percent from 2019 to 2020.  Less than one percent of the population has a fixed telephone line. 

Over 98 percent of Ivoirians who access the internet do so via mobile devices.  Orange, MTN,  and MOOV all offer mobile internet services.  Mobile internet subscribers increased 14.8 percent between 2019 and 2020, and the sector realized a 33.5 percent increase in revenue.  Residential and business demand for fixed internet subscriptions is small but growing, with fixed internet subscriptions increasing 19.6 percent from 2019 to 2020 and revenue increasing by 19 percent over the same period.   Currently, only Orange, MTN, and VIPNET are service providers. The market comprises fixed LTE services (54 percent), ADSL (25 percent), and fiber-to-home (20 percent). 

Leading Sub-Sectors

There are sales best prospects for

  • Wireless network equipment and related services
  •  DSL equipment
  • GSM solutions and applications
  • Fiber-optic cables
  • Billing solutions (software)
  • Mobile banking technologies
  • Cyber-security solutions

Opportunities

The Ivoirian telecommunications market is growing and will need suppliers for the full range of telecommunications services and equipment, to include copper and fiber optic cables, central office switches, cellular stations, data communications satellites, microwave communication equipment, and data management solutions. American companies will also find opportunities in developing data centers and cybersecurity solutions.

Resources

  • Africa IT & Telecom Forum
  • Ministry of Digital Economy, Telecommunications, and Innovation  
  • Côte d’Ivoire’s Investment Promotion Centre (CEPICI)
  • Association of Technology Information and Communications Operators in Côte d’Ivoire
  • Union of Telecommunications Businesses in Côte d’Ivoire
  • West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA)
  • African Telecommunications Union
  • African Forum for Utility Regulators
  • Côte d’Ivoire Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • National Office for Technical Studies and Development (BNETD)
  • Ivoirian Customs Office
  • Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Côte d’Ivoire (ARTCI)
  • Biotechnology Park