Incoming fibre boosts investment prospects for Burundi

With stable GDP growth of around 5% p.a., a high population density and a high growth rate in a low-penetration mobile market, Burundi is one of the most attractive African telecom markets for investors, despite the fact that it is also one of the world’s poorest countries, according to Research & Markets.

2012 will see the landlocked country connected to international fibre optic cables for the first time which will end its dependency on expensive satellite connections and give it access to much greater amounts of international internet bandwidth at lower prices.

In preparation for the internet boom that is expected as a result, two of the five mobile operators have already launched 3G broadband services. Some consolidation can be expected in the future as five networks may find it hard competing in this relatively small market.

A sixth operator licence was awarded in 2008 but the company hasn’t launched a service yet. In addition, the national telco, Onatel (which also operates one of the mobile networks) is scheduled to be privatised in 2012.

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