The market for telecommunications in Congo has undergone profound changes since Law N°14-97 of May 1997 was enacted because it allowed competition. The ONPT agency (known as SOTELCO after May 2003), which had long remained in a monopoly position, had to share the market with private operators. However, the deregulation movement that has made its way through the sector still grants SOTELCO a monopoly on basic services, thus giving it a structuring role in telecommunications and therefore giving it back its earlier dominant position. In the cellular phone market, the dynamic exploitation of network externalities explains Celtel’s market share vis-à-vis its direct rivals, namely Cyrus and Libertis. The dynamics of the telephone market in Congo is therefore fully explained by the stimulus of network economies and regulations.
By Bethuel Makosso