What mobile providers are where in Africa?
January 2, 2013 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find a map of mobile (cell) phone network providers across sub-Saharan Africa?

For a project at work, I need information on what mobile (cell) phone providers have service throughout sub-Saharan Africa. I have tried searching for maps of individual providers I know are prevalent in at least one part of the continent (i.e. - Orange, MTN), though even those are hard to come by.

Coverage plotted against a map would be most useful, but even information in a list form would work. At present, I am looking mostly at the national level, though sub-national boundary information would be ideal - be it political administrative levels, livelihood zones, etc.

The more up-to-date the information, the better.
posted by msk1985 to Technology (5 answers total)
Here's some data, but I can't see any maps on my iDevice.

You could try googling 'Africa gsm' for more.
posted by mgrrl at 9:00 AM on January 2, 2013

The Wikipedia list of mobile networks in Africa will get you started: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mobile_network_operators_of_the_Middle_East_and_Africa

I suspect you'll have to dig a bit for the country-specific information for providers to find out about sub-national boundaries.
posted by camcgee at 3:10 PM on January 2, 2013

Airtel Africa is in at least 17 countries across Sub Sahara.
posted by infini at 3:21 PM on January 2, 2013

Your best bet might be to go to individual blogs in the countries you're concerned with and ask directly. I remember using three different networks in Nigeria - you buy pay-as-you-go credit, and many people carry two or three different phones for different networks as contingency when one or another network is down. Here is a post about Nigeria specifically.

I think it's fair to say that once you are in West Africa what works on the ground is hardly ever what one has been led to believe from outside the place.
posted by glasseyes at 6:00 PM on January 2, 2013

I just moved away from Kenya. The big providers there are currently Safaricom, Orange (formerly Zain or Celtel), and Airtel.

I have SIM cards from providers all over the continent, but I'm not sure the info I would give you would be most up-to-date. But I have friends / contacts in probably a good 20 countries around the region. If you would like on-the-ground reports of who the providers are, can you email me or memail me and I can get started on getting you what I can?
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:04 AM on March 21, 2013

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