The Republic of Guinea
from Rags to Riches

Mr Marzuki Bin Abdullah, General Manager of Sotelgui

Interview with Mr. Marzuki Bin Abdullah
Read our exclusive interview
Société de télécommunications de Guinée

Mr Marzuki Bin Abdullah
General Manager

PO BOX 2066 Conakry,
Republic of Guinea
West Africa
TÚl: (224) 41 10 28 / 45 02 00
Fax: (224) 41 15 35

The Société des Télécommunications de Guinée (Sotelgui) was set up as an autonomous telecommunications operator in 1993 as a result of the promulgation of a new telecommunications law in 1992. Sotelgui was privatized in 1995 and the strategic partner is Malaysia Telekom which acquired 60% of Sotelgui equity while the government retained 40%.


  • Total: 0.48 (1998)

  • Largest cities: 1.56 (1998)

  • Rest of the country: 0.15 (1998)

  • Digital main lines: 98.8% (1998)

    Waiting list for a telephone line

  • Total: 1,300 (1998)

  • Average waiting time: 0.2 year (1998)

  • Total demand (k): 38.1 (1998)

  • Satisfied demand (%): 96.5 (1998)

  • Telephone Tariffs (1998):

    PSTN connection charge - residential US$ 199
    PSTN connection charge - business US$ 199
    PSTN monthly subscription - residential US$ 4.30
    PSTN monthly subscription -business US$ 4.30
    PSTN three minute local call US$ 0.11
    Source: World Telecommunication Development Report, 1999

    Public telephones: 540 (1998)

    Public telephones per 1000 inhabitants: 0.07 (1998)

    Mobile cellular subscribers: 21,600 (1998)

    The capital city, Conakry, are all covered by all the operators while Sotelgui is expanding in Boke, Kamsar and Sangaredi.
    Cellular subscribers as a % of totla telephone subscribers: 58.70 (1998)

    Mobile cellular tariff: na

    Telecommunications revenue (M US$): 31.90 (1998)

    Telecommunications investment (M US$): 37.90 (1998)

    Telecommunications investment as a % of revenue: 118.90 (1998)

    Telecom equipment exports (M US$): na

    Telecom equipment imports (M US$): na

    Telecentres: na

    Facsimiles: 2,800 (1998)

    In the framework of the co-operation between Guinea and Malaysia, Telecom Malaysia was expected to fulfill several expectations, mainly improving the whole industry and transferring the technical know-how. The following are some of the requirements that have already been met, to some extent The installation of human resources management

  • The introduction of new services such as cellular phones

  • The rehabilitation, modernization and extension of communication equipment of the cable network and of FH transmission

  • The introduction of GSM in the networks

  • The consolidation of the flow of international traffic by putting into place circuits services by undersea cable

  • The modernization and expansion of provincial telephones

  • Providing Internet services

  • Sotelgui had to face many challenging tasks including developing very basic concepts such as customer services which was inexistent, technical training for the local employees and creating a collection fees process. One of the first things the new management at Sotelgui did was to decrease the US$1000 deposit for international calls by half and to lower the deposit for national calls from US$600 to US$200. As for call within the capital itself, the deposit was lowered from US$400 to 50. This major costs in price made the telephone more accessible to the population.. The company also had to spend over $20 million to upgrade its facilities.

    Telecom Malaysia achievements so far have been very impressive. The company has managed to provide excellent services and drastically improved the overall system. When Telecom Malaysia took over, Sotelgui only had about 10,000 subscribers in the country all located in the capital city. As of October 1999, the company now has 40,000 subscribers and is aiming for 500,000 by 2010.


    Fixed  Mobile
    Launch Date June 1992 December 1997

    Technology used Digital GSM

    No of subscribers 36 000  

    Equipped Capacity 60 000  

    Coverage (%)   
    Geographic 60%  
    Population 40%  

    Ownership details (with % shareholding)   Telekom Malaysia Berhard 60%
    Government of Guinea 40%

    Average waiting period for connection planned 1-3 months One week

    Market Share (Operator's figure) 100% 0

     Read on  

    © World INvestment NEws, 2000.
    This is the electronic edition of the special country report on Guinea published in Far Eastern Economic Review (Dow Jones Group)
    September 28th 2000 Issue.

    Developed by AgenciaE.Tv