One of the world’s poorest countries, the Comoros is made up of three islands that are hampered by inadequate transportation links, a young and rapidly increasing population, and few natural resources. The low educational level of the labor force contributes to a subsistence level of economic activity and a heavy dependence on foreign grants and technical assistance.
The Internet penetration rate was slightly over 7% in early 2017. There is a sparse system of microwave radio relay and HF radiotelephone communication stations, as well as microwave radio relay and CMDA mobile network (Huri, operated by Comores Telecom).
Fixed-line telephony is controlled by the incumbent operator, Comores Telecom. Telecom Malagasy (Telma) has recently launched commercial mobile voice and 3G/4G data services in Comoros, bringing an end to the incumbent’s monopoly in this sector. The National Authority for the Regulation of ICT (Autorite Nationale de Regulation des TIC, ANRTIC) is in charge of the regulation of activities in the telecoms industry.
The Comoros government is facing many challenges -provide basic services, upgrade education and technical training, privatize commercial and industrial enterprises, improve health services, diversify exports, promote tourism, and reduce the high population growth rate. Recurring political instability, sometimes initiated from outside the country, has inhibited growth. Agriculture, including fishing, hunting, and forestry, accounts for 50% of GDP, employs 80% of the labor force, and provides most of the exports. Export income is heavily reliant on the three main crops of vanilla, cloves, and ylang ylang (perfume essence); and the Comoros’ export earnings are easily disrupted by disasters such as fires and extreme weather. High population densities, as much as 1000 per square kilometre in the densest agricultural zones, for what is still a mostly rural, agricultural economy may lead to an environmental crisis in the near future, especially considering the high rate of population growth. Improvements are slowly being made in order to improve revenue mobilization, reduce expenditures and improve electricity access, but the future is still uncertain.
Comoros National Telecommunications Company is a public limited company and the incumbent operator in Comoros. Its object is the operation and provision of telecommunications, voice, data and universal telecommunications services in the territory of the country. It was created in February 2004 following the split of the activities of the National Post and Telecommunications Company (SNPT). Its mobile services run under the HURI brand. The company is committed to financial stability, increased productivity, extension of fixed and mobile telephone networks, and the growth of the Internet market.