Senegal has an excellent telecommunications infrastructure, which is digitised. Sonatel, Senegal’s main telecommunications operator, continues to dominate the market. It was privatised in 1997 with France Telecom as the strategic partner. Liberalisation of some services accompanied privatisation. Two companies now provide cellular telephone services, and there is a competitive internet services market. As a result, there has been a boom of internet-related activities and services and in cell phone usage.
In 2007, sales generated by the telecommunications sector accounted for more than 7% of the GDP. These last few years have witnessed the spectacular growth of mobile telephony with 3,434,000 subscribers in 2007 and 1,537,000 respectively in 2005. The country has around 278,000 landlines for 11.9 million inhabitants. In addition, cable, telex, fax and internet services are available. The internet penetration rate is low (0.19%).
The government-operated radio and television service has transmitters throughout the country. The two national radio networks based in Dakar broadcast mostly in French, while the regional stations in Rufisque, Saint-Louis, Tambacounda, Kaolack and Ziguinchor, which originate their own programs, broadcast primarily in six local languages. Transmission of educational television programs began in 1973. As of 1999 there were eight AM and six FM radio stations and one television station. In 2000, there were about 141 radios and 40 television sets for every 1,000 people.
Telephones - main lines in use:
Telephones - mobile cellular:
6.902 million (2009)
general assessment: good system with microwave radio relay, coaxial cable and fibre-optic cable in trunk system
domestic: above-average urban system with a fibre-optic network; nearly two-thirds of all fixed-line connections are in Dakar where a call-centre industry is emerging; expansion of fixed-line services in rural areas needed; mobile-cellular service is expanding rapidly
international: country code - 221; the SAT-3/WASC fibre-optic cable provides connectivity to Europe and Asia while Atlantis-2 provides connectivity to South America; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)
state-run Radiodiffusion Television Senegalaise (RTS) operates 2 TV stations; a few private TV subscription channels rebroadcast foreign channels without providing any local news or programs; RTS operates a national radio network and a number of regional FM stations; a large number of community and private-broadcast radio stations are available; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible on FM in Dakar (2007)
Internet country code:
1.02 million (2008)