Sudan and South Sudan Telecommunications Report Q4 2017
BMI View: Our forecast for Sudan and South Sudan remain unchanged in this Q417 update, withconcomitant implications on our growth outlook for both markets. In Sudan, SIM deactivation efforts by theregulator dampened the short-term growth prospects of the mobile voice market in 2016. However, themarket reversed the negative growth trend in Q117 with subscriber growth driven by discounted SIMsentering the market and efforts from operators to extend services to underserved areas. We expect 3G/4Gaccess to be a key growth driver of the overall mobile market, on the back of operators such as Zain andSudani deploying LTE. We do not anticipate negative growth in the wireline market throughout our forecastperiod. In the South Sudanese market, we expect the persisting macroeconomic as well as political crisis tocontinue limiting subscription growth in the overall mobile market. The mobile market ended March 2017with a -23.3% y-o-y growth rate, indicating chronic systemic issues in the country. The mobile market inSouth Sudan is not expected to return to growth until 2019 at the earliest as we expect the multidimensionalcrises to continue over the short term.
Latest Updates And Industry Developments
Sudan's mobile market posted its first quarter of positive growth in Q117, adding more than626,000 subscriptions. This increased the total subscriptions to 28.2mn, for a penetration rate of 68.0%.
We believe negative growth in the market was mainly the result of inactive SIM deactivation efforts bythe regulator in 2016. Despite this, in the five years to 2021, we forecast Sudan's mobile market will growto 30.581mn mobile customers. The number of 3G subscriptions is expected to grow from 32.6% ofmobile subscriptions in 2017 to 53.3% of the total market in 2021.