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Communications in Mali


In 2009, there were some 81,000 fixed telephone lines in Mali, far outstripped by 3.742 million mobile cellular phone lines. There are two major mobile telephone operators, Ikatel (a subsidiary of Sonatel, of Senegal) and Malitel (a subsidiary of SOTELMA, the state owned telecommunications company).

In June 2003, legislation passed allowing other private telecommunications operators to enter the market.

Mali has since 1994 when law allowed for private (non-state) radios to begin operating. Foreign funding, and some commercial funding (mostly in the capital) have helped to established 160 FM stations in Mali, though many of those are small community "suitcase radio stations". Private radio stations are required to be members of URTEL. The state operated radio, is ORTM (Office de Radiodiffusion au Television de Mali), which operates two FM stations and one television station, with repeaters throughout the country.

There are an estimated 24 private internet service providers. Recently an association has been formed called AFIM (Association de Fournisseurs de l'Internet au Mali), which is intended to represent these providers.

SOTELMA provides X.25 and dial-up telephone services. Many operators offer dial-up internet service, and wireless internet services. Most ISPs are small Bamako based providers with a VSAT connection, a cyber café and use wireless systems to share their service with their clients. Bamako has at least 21 wireless providers, ranging from small VSAT operators, to sophisticated, multi-access point, full services providers.


Telephones - main lines in use :
81,000 (2009)

Telephones - mobile cellular :
3.742 million (2009)

Telephone system :
general assessment: domestic system unreliable but improving; increasing use of local radio loops to extend network coverage to remote areas
domestic: fixed-line subscribership remains less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership has increased sharply to nearly 30 per 100 persons
international: country code - 223; satellite communications centre and fibre-optic links to neighbouring countries; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 1 Indian Ocean) (2008)

Broadcast media :
national public TV broadcaster; 2 privately-owned companies provide subscription services to foreign multi-channel TV packages; national public radio broadcaster supplemented by a large number of privately-owned and community broadcast stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)

Internet country code :
Internet hosts :
524 (2010)

Internet users :
249,800 (2009)





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