As mobile subscriber numbers are nearing saturation, future growth will be driven by the expansion into new products and services. In anticipation, mobile operators are working to introduce value-added services and improve overall network quality. In the meantime, operators are working to expand their infrastructure networks ahead of the switch to 3G. The current absence of 3G services means that the Gabonese market has considerable room for growth, despite the small size of the population.
With the arrival of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) fibre-optic cable and rising demand for digital services, Gabon’s IT sector is on the cusp of considerable growth. The increased bandwidth offered by the cable should drive down domestic costs for data access. Public investment in ICT has jumped in the last two years, in line with government aims to make the country a digital economy by 2016. State support is crucial to the success of these goals, but it is up to the private sector to develop the service offering in this relatively untapped market.
This chapter contains interviews with Alex Bernard Bongo Ondimba, President, National Agency for Digital Infrastructure and Frequencies (ANINF); and Manoj Kohli, Managing Director and CEO International, Bharti Airtel.