Madagascar’s exposure to the global economic crisis was amplified by political instability following a controversial change of government in 2009. The period of economic decline led to weaker subscriber growth in the telecoms sector, reduced consumer spending and, as a consequence, intensified price competition between the three GSM mobile network operators – Orange, Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain) and Telma, the incumbent telco. A fourth mobile operator, Madamobil, launched a CDMA-based network in 2010 but its licence was revoked in 2012. However, the economic recovery seen over the last few years is leading to renewed consumer confidence, and to growth in the mobile and broadband markets as customer adopt services based on LTE technology.
A national fibre backbone is being implemented connecting the major cities. Wireless broadband access networks are being rolled out, enabling converged voice, data and entertainment services. The launch of third generation (3G) mobile broadband services has enabled the mobile operators to reverse their rapidly declining average revenue per user (ARPU).

The fixed-line sector has been undergoing a revolution following the privatisation of Telma. Major investments have been made and the number of fixed lines has grown steadily, albeit from a very low base. ADSL2+ broadband services have been introduced and the decline in fixed-line revenue has been successfully reversed. Despite these positive developments, the national telco is considering various divestiture options.

Penetration rates in all market sectors are still below African averages, promising excellent growth potential.

For more information see – Madagascar - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses