Mobile ownership

Always at hand, the mobile phone has become an indispensable tool in the daily lives of Central African people since the liberalisation of the private equity sector in 1996. Since the entry into service of Orange in 2007, the telecommunications landscape has been growing and competition is in full swing, encouraging an increase in the number of subscribers.

According to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, in 2017, approximately one in three Central Africans used a mobile phone, while in 2007 the ratio was one in forty, and incredible rise in just 10 years. An exclusive or luxury item just years ago, mobile telecommunication devices are now considered an easy and affordable means of communication in the country, and in some cases an easy tool for financial transactions. Moreover, in the hinterland, mobile phones are seen as an excellent way to maintain permanent links with relatives in other cities, especially in the capital. Also, mobile phones are a parental control tool, allowing parents to keep track of their children. The popularity of mobile phones has increased as it fulfills the needs to maintain family unity and provide reinsurance. For traders and other business people, it is a precious tool to save money and time. Some of the users onboard by trend or for the desire to be able to do without their laptops. Despite the inflationary cost of consumption, these users do not hesitate to spend. In general, the trend in mobile phone use varies according to the age and social category of the user.

Even if no government project to extend mobile networks in other cities in the country is planned in the short term, telephone operators such as Orange Centrafrique and Telecel Centrafrique explain that they will be able to continue extending their network coverage in other provincial cities during 2019.