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Penetration rates in all market sectors are still well below African averages, promising excellent growth potential. The telephone system is above average for the region where Antananarivo's main telephone exchange was modernized in the late 1990s, but the rest of the analogue-based telephone system is poorly developed. The government has been adding fixed line connections since 2005. The combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular tele-density about 25 per 100 persons.

Licenses & Regulations

The country’s national telecom regulator is Office Malagasy d’etudes et de Regulation des Telecommunications (OMERT).

Fixed Lines

The fixed-line sector has been undergoing a revolution in the way services are delivered following the privatization of Telma, the country’s sole fixed-line operator. Major investments have been made and the number of fixed lines has more than doubled, albeit from a very low base. In 2008, there were 164,900 main lines in use.


Madagascar's exposure to the global economic crisis is amplified by political instability following a controversial change of government in early 2009. This has led to weak subscriber growth, reduced consumer spending and, as a consequence, intensified price competition between the three mobile network operators - Orange, Zain and Telma, the incumbent telco, each with a market share of 40%, 38% and 22% respectively.The launch of the fourth mobile network, Madamobil, has been delayed.

The country has 5.6 million subscribers in total.

Mobile Operators

Average Revenue per User (ARPU)

The country has been experiencing declining average revenue per user (ARPU) rates which have fallen to US$5 per month. In bid to stop and ultimately reverse the rapidly decreasing ARPU, the mobile operators have entered the broadband market with mobile data service offerings. In Telma became the first to launch third generation 3G/HSPA mobile broadband services in November 2009.


Positive developments in the Internet and broadband sector have begun following the arrival of the LION international submarine fibre optic cable in mid 2009, the first ever to serve the island. This ended the country's dependency on satellites for international connections, bringing down the cost of international bandwidth and making Internet access more affordable to a wider part of the population. A second cable, EASSy, landed in March 2010. A national fibre backbone is being implemented connecting the major cities and wireless broadband access networks are being rolled out, enabling converged voice, data and entertainment services. ADSL broadband services have been introduced and the decline in fixed-line revenue has been successfully reversed.

As of 2009, there were 27,807 internet hosts and 316,100 internet users (1.5% of the population). In the same year, the number of broadband internet users was 6,200. The country had three main internet service providers (ISPs) in 2006: DTS, Simicro, and Blueline (Gulfsat). In 2005, Blueline has also been the first operator in the Indian Ocean area to launch a Wimax based network for broadband Internet access.

Key Figures

  • Number of main lines in use: 164,900 (2008)
  • Number of mobile subscribers: 5,600,000 (2010)
  • Number of internet users: 316,000 (2009)
  • Number of broadband internet subscribers: 6,200 (2009)
  • Number of ISPs: 3 (2006)
  • Number of internet hosts: 27,807 (2009)
  • Internet penetration rate: 1.5% (2009)

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