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BMI View: Significant upside and downside risks to our outlook for the Democratic Republic of the Congo
include the possible arrival of new market entrants, as well as consolidation among existing operators. For
Congo-Brazzaville, we believe that limited subscriber uptake in rural areas means that subscription growth
will tick modestly upwards for the duration of our forecast period. Burundi's mobile market is viewed as
one of the most competitive in the region, with four active mobile operators serving a population of around
10mn. Vietnam-backed Viettel has made significant headway into Burundi, launching 4G services in 2016,
which has injected a new competitive dynamic.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)'s mobile market experienced strong growth in 2015, as
competition among operators lowered prices, leading to greater uptake of services. We are confident about
the country's prospects, but note that there are significant risks to the upside and the downside for our
outlook. These include the possible arrival of new market entrants, as well as consolidation among existing
For Congo-Brazzaville, we believe that subscriber uptake in rural areas means that subscriptions growth
will modestly tick upwards for the duration of our forecast period. We caution, however, that continued
growth could be partially offset by the further discounting of inactive SIMs.
Burundi's mobile market is viewed as one of the most competitive in region, with four active mobile
operators serving a population of around 10mn. We believe low income levels, low urbanisation rates and
limited funds for network expansion into underserved areas are among the major factors for the slow growth
of the country's mobile sector.
Latest Updates And Industry Developments
? By the end of H116, we estimate that the Congo-Brazzaville mobile market had 4.374mn customers.
This was equivalent to a penetration rate of 91.4%, down from 101% at the end of H114. We now
predict that the number of mobile subscriptions will reach 4.528mn at the end of 2020. Our current
forecast expects the number of 3G subscriptions in Congo-Brazzaville to reach 1.84mn in 2020,
equivalent to 40.5% of the total mobile subscriber base.