Mobile communications and Internet in Sierra LeoneCompared to the United States, Sierra Leone is massively lagging behind in the development of telecommunications. Under the country code +232, there were a total of 8.23 million connections in 2021. Among them were 8.23 million mobile phones, which corresponds to an average of 0.98 per person. In the US, this figure is 1.1 mobile phones per person.
With about 282 webhosts, Sierra Leone is below the world's average by population. At the end of 2020, 52 of these, or about 18 percent, were secured with SSL or comparable encryption.
Back to overview: Sierra Leone
Internet speed for cell phones and fixed networkWith an average download speed of 15.28 Mbit/second for fixed-network broadband internet, Sierra Leone ranks 141st in an international comparison. The upload rate of only 7.4 Mbit/second was significantly lower (148th place).
The Speedtest Global Index published regularly by Ookla is based on several million individual measurements in April 2023 from 180 countries.
Mobile phone rates in Sierra LeoneEvery year, the International Telecommunication Union calculates for many countries what a mobile phone contract costs to use. A monthly budget averaging US$ 16.30 was calculated Sierra Leone in 2021. This is about the same value as in the previous year.
The ITU refers to the costs for monthly use and includes 140 telephony minutes, 70 text messages and a data transfer of 2 GBytes. The transfer speed should be the minimum of a 3G connection, i.e. at least UMTS, which is already outdated in many parts of the world. 2 GBytes do not sound much. However, this is already quite a high consumption in a worldwide comparison. If one does not take a fixed amount in US dollars, but converts it to the economic output per inhabitant, a user in Sierra Leone spends 39.86% of his gross national income on mobile telephony. Worldwide, this rate is around 6.6 percent.
In the USA, the monthly cost was around $38.10.
Lack of network coverage with 5GA modern 5G network does not yet exist in Sierra Leone (as of 2021). The penetration rate of 4G, i.e., mobile communications with at least LTE speed, was recently 48.64 percent. In other words, 4.32 million people in the country had to make do with a maximum Internet speed of the outdated UMTS standard (or even less).
The following diagrams show the development of the various telephone and internet connections as a percentage of the country's population. Values above 100 percent mean that, on average, every inhabitant has more than one connection.
Access to the internet in Sierra Leone from 1990 - 2020
Landlines 1990 - 2021
The increasing prevalence of cell phones and the simultaneous decline in landline phones clearly indicate a change in Sierra Leone. While the number of landlines has fallen significantly in recent years, the spread of cell phones has risen to 98 cell phone subscriptions per 100 people at last count. Such a clear shift does not occur in all countries, but the trend points in the same direction internationally.
Mobile phones 1990 - 2021
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|Distribution in 2021||Sierra Leone|
|Landlines||269.00||0.00 %||97.82 m||29.47 %|
|Mobile cellulars||8.23 m||97.70 %||361.66 m||108.97 %|