Mobile networks in South Sudan are limited to major towns (about 20 percent of the country), cutting out the population of remote areas. Mobile coverage was much higher before conflict, but the ensuing war led to the switch of telecom masts especially in areas controlled by the rebel forces. The World Bank estimates that the mobile cellular subscription in South Sudan has dropped from 22 percent in 2016 to only 12 percent in 2017. Although, some towns have been reconnected as the government gained more control of rebel positions.
At only 12 percent, also the Internet penetration rate of South Sudan remains low compared to other countries in the eastern Africa region. Although there has been seemingly a growth in the popularity of Internet services in the country, the continued conflict and low investments in telecommunication infrastructure have affected their expansion. Open source data indicate that 2.2 million of the country’s population are connected to the Internet, accounting for only 17 percent of the country’s population estimated at 12.5 million.