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Burundi
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The Burundian telecommunications infrastructure still remains very limited. As of April 2010, the CIA factbook described the telephone system as “primitive” with “one of the lowest” telephone densities in the world. The mobile network mainly covers the western parts of the country with six licensed mobile operators. The mobile usage is increasing over the years.

Licenses & Regulations

The country’s regulator is Agence de Régulation et de Contrôle des Télécommunications (ARCT) which is placed under the jurisdiction of the Burundian Ministry of Defense. All deliverance of licenses are studied by technical personnel of the ARCT, then by its board of administration, followed by the approval of the Ministry of Transports and Communications and last of all by the national Ministry of Defense.

Fixed Lines

In 2008, there were 30,400 main telephone lines in use, making Burundi 178th in the world in terms of countries with the most main telephone lines in use. This was a decrease from 2006 in which 35,000 main telephone lines were in use. With the lowest fixed-line tele-density, fixed-line connections stand at well less than 1 per 100 persons.

Mobile

In 2009, there were 480,600 cellular phones in use, making Burundi 156th in the world in terms of countries with the most cell phones in use. That same year, the mobile penetration rate was 11% and mobile-cellular usage is increasing but still remains at a meager 5 per 100 persons.

Coverage is restricted to a certain extent, with the western areas of the country enjoying the best coverage.

Burundi has six competing mobile operators, with Lacell and Hits Telecom being the latest additions to the list.

Mobile Operators

Average Revenue per User (ARPU)

No information regarding ARPU rates in Burundi is available.

Internet

As of 2009, there were 191 internet hosts, making Burundi 189th in the world in terms of number of internet hosts. This is a slight increase from 162 internet hosts in 2008. As of 2008, there were 65,000 internet users, making Burundi 167th in the world in terms of countries with the most internet users. This was a small increase from 60,000 internet users in 2006.

Burundi had four internet providers in 2007, three of them (Cbinet, Usan Burundi, U-com) are connected through VSAT. The fourth ISP is Onatel. While internet licenses have remained costly, the demand for internet subscriptions seems to be decreasing as internet subscriptions have consequently remained very expensive in Burundi.

Key Figures

  • Number of main lines in use: 30,400 (2008)
  • Number of mobile subscribers: 825,000 (2010)
  • Number of internet users: 65,000 (2009)
  • Number of internet hosts: 191 (2009)
  • Number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 4 (2007)
  • Broadband Internet Subscribers: 200 (2009)
  • Mobile penetration rate: 11% (2009)
  • Internet penetration rate: 0.7% (2009)

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