Mauritanian FWA start-up charges $27 a month for 7Mbps

Mauritanian FWA start-up charges $27 a month for 7Mbps

12 October 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Sahel Telecom has started operations as a fixed-wireless broadband operator in Nouakchott, the capital city of Mauritania in west Africa.

The company, which was announced four months ago, is using Wifi technology rather than cellular radio to reach its intended customers.

According to the Ecofin agency, Sahel Telecom is a Mauritanian-owned company that aims to provide unlimited broadband internet via its fixed wireless access (FWA) service.

But the prices on the operator’s own website are high. Sahel Telecom says it offers residential speeds from 7Mbps download/1Mbps upload at 1,000 Mauretanian ouguiyas (US$27.60) a month, up to 35Mbps download/7Mbps upload – which it calls “fibre fast” – at 4,500 ouguiyas ($124.28) a month.

Business packages run up to 55Mbps download/10Mbps upload at a rate of 6,500 ouguiyas ($179.52) a month.

Ecofin says Sahel Telecom plans to expand beyond Nouakchott to other cities “in the coming months”.

According to the GSMA coverage maps, cellular operators with which it competes are Mauritel, Tunisie Telecom’s Mattel, and Sudatel’s Chinguitel. The GSMA does not list Sahel Telecom. Penetration rate for mobile services is thought to be around 33%.

Chinguitel launched its 4G service in August, following its competitors Mauritel and Mattel by eight months. Chinguitel started in seven regional capitals, Nouakchott, Nouadhibou, Zouerate, Atar, Akjoujt, Rosso and Kaédi.

It charges 1,000 ouguiyas for 12 gigabytes of data over 30 days.