Industry Trend Analysis - Quality, Not Quantity, Makes Markets Competitive - DEC 2017

BMI View: Cote d'Ivoire provides a clear example as to why the quality of competition is more important than the quantity of competitors. As the market moves towards a data and services paradigm, it requires heavy investments from robust and viable players. As such, we would expect greater consolidation across the region, with the main global operators at the centre.

ARTCI, the Ivoirian regulator, has revoked the licence of fourth player LPTIC, over its failure to meet the conditions of its licence. LPTIC had not yet become operational in the market, dominated by Orange, MTN and Moov ( Maroc Telecom), with the fourth licence created after the regulator withdrew the rights for four smaller operators to offer services. We do not believe a fourth player would be viable in the market, and that regulators should focus on the quality, and not the quantity, of operators if they want to create a strong competitive environment.

LPTIC is backed by the Libyan government, which was already present in the market under the GreenN brand, one of the four smaller operators which had to exit the market in early 2015. But like its predecessor, it lacked the financial means to have an impact on the market, where three multinational groups are fighting for market share. Orange dominates amongst these three, and even more so in the overall telecoms market through its ownership of the main fixed player. The mobile market has moved from the provision of basic services, such as voice calls and messaging, towards more premium services such as data and value-added (including mobile money), which require heavy investments. This is only affordable for the most robust operators, which is where the quality of competition becomes more important than the quantity of operators.

Little Room For A New Player
Market Share (%), Q217
Source: ARTCI, BMI

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