Telecommunications in Guinea include radio, television, fixed and mobile radio, and the Internet.
The people of Guinea are among the poorest in West Africa and this reality is reflected in the development of the country's telecommunications environment. Radio is the most important source of information for the public in Guinea, and the only one to reach the entire country.
There is a single government-owned radio network, a growing number of private radio stations, and one government TV station. The fixed telephone system is inadequate, with just 18,000 lines to serve the country's 10.5 million inhabitants in 2012. The mobile cellular system is growing rapidly and had an estimated 4.8 million lines in 2012. Internet usage is very low, reaching just 1.5% of the population in 2012.
one state-run radio broadcast station, Radio Television Guineenne (RTG); RTG also operates several stations in rural areas; there are a steadily increasing number of privately owned radio stations, nearly all in the capital, Conakry; and about a dozen community radio stations (2011);
The government maintains marginal control over broadcast media, the media laws promulgated following the 2010 democratic transition have not been implemented, and there are reports of state censorship through journalist harassment and station closures. For example:
On 26 August 2012, the National Communication Council (CNC) suspended private radio station Liberte FM, based in the Forest Region city of N’Zerekore. The closure prevented Liberte FM from covering protests announced by opposition leaders for the following day. The national government allowed Liberty FM to reopen 48 hours later, after the protests concluded.
On 1 October 2012, Electricity of Guinea cut service to Espace FM, host of the investigative reporting radio program "The Big Mouths." The utility company claimed that Espace FM and its sister station, Sweet FM, collectively owed nearly 150 million GNF ($21,521) for electricity bills, despite the station’s possession of payment receipts. Both stations were forced to operate on expensive generator power.
The government has been accused of penalizing stations and journalists who broadcast items criticizing government officials and their actions. Some journalists accuse government officials of attempting to influence the tone of their reporting with inappropriate pressure and bribes. Some journalists also hire bodyguards, and many practice self-censorship.
Telephone system: inadequate system of open-wire lines, small radiotelephone communication stations, and a new microwave radio relay system; Conakry reasonably well-served; coverage elsewhere remains inadequate and large companies tend to rely on their own systems for nationwide links; fixed-line teledensity less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership is expanding and exceeds 40 per 100 persons (2011).
There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without judicial oversight.
The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and of the press, but the government, nevertheless, restricts these freedoms. Libel against the head of state, slander, and false reporting are subject to heavy fines. Some journalists accuse government officials of attempting to influence the tone of their reporting with inappropriate pressure and bribes. Some journalists hire bodyguards, and many practice self-censorship. Although the constitution and law provide for the inviolability of the home and legal searches require judicial search warrants, police reportedly ignore legal procedures in the pursuit of criminal suspects or when it serves their personal interests.