(Ecofin Agency) - In its first quarter of activity (October-December 2022), Celtiis, a subsidiary of the Beninese Digital Infrastructure Company (SBIN), had 599,727 subscribers. According to the country’s telecom watchdog, ARCEP, that is a 4.12% market share in the quarter concerned.
Before Celtiis’ arrival on October 21, 2022, Benin’s mobile telephony market was divided, since 2018, between MTN and Moov Africa, which held 60.57% and 39.43% of the market share, respectively.
The regulator's statistics also indicate that MTN Benin and Moov Africa Benin only added 271,319 and 141,903 new subscribers, respectively, during the quarter reviewed. They both lost some shares to Celtiis. MTN's share fell from 60.57% in Q3 2022 to 58.21%. Moov Africa’s dropped from 39.43% to 37.66%.
Celtiis is State-owned and it was introduced to bring more competition to the mobile telephony market in Benin. The new operator is supported by the government and Senegal's National Telecommunications Company (Sonatel), which is responsible for managing the SBIN.
For now, Celtiis still has a long way to go in establishing itself in the market, but given the latter’s conditions, all three operators have some room to expand. As of December 31, 2021, the mobile penetration rate in Benin was 101.80%, according to the ARCEP. However, this figure is skewed by the "multiSIM phenomenon", meaning the actual numbers are likely less.
Celtiis should play a key role in the realization of the government’s ambitions for digital transformation. Just four months after launching, the operator announced it was ready to deploy 5G, and is about to launch a pilot phase for ultra-high-speed broadband.
Isaac K. Kassouwi