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2007 Africa - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Central and Eastern Regions


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in the telecommunications markets of eight African countries: Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Subjects covered include:

  • Key Statistics
  • Market and Industry Overviews
  • Regulatory environment and structural reform
  • Major Players (fixed and mobile)
  • Infrastructure development
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets
  • Internet, including broadband development


Low fixed-line teledensity and Internet penetration and strong growth of mobile telephony have been the chief characteristics of the telecom markets in the Central and Eastern regions of Africa. Several new international submarine cable projects are now set to bring large amounts of fibre-based bandwidth to countries along the continent’s East coast and in the interior for the first time. Key countries in the region have privatised their incumbent telcos, liberalised international access and VoIP Internet telephony, and are implementing new competition frameworks. This is creating new opportunities in an environment of converging technologies and services and promises the long-awaited cost reduction and improved availability of telecommunications.

Cameroon
Like in most African countries, Cameroon’s mobile market has been booming since competition was introduced, while the fixed-line sector has been stagnant. Convergence between fixed and mobile, voice and data services is now set to change the market dramatically: The fixed-line incumbent, Camtel, is re-entering the mobile sector through a third national licence, while the existing mobile operators are establishing themselves as leading ISPs by introducing mobile data services and acquiring existing ISPs. The mobile operators are also among the bidders in the privatisation of a majority stake in Camtel with a view to providing converged services. The existing ISPs are combining their forces by merging and preparing to offer VoIP services through newly established wireless broadband networks. For the country overview, see chapter 1, page 1.

Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo is a mineral-rich country that is recovering from civil strife and many years of pillage by its former leaders which has accounted for the low level of development of its telecommunications and other infrastructure. While the traditional fixed-line network has deteriorated to almost non-existence, mobile telephony has experienced excellent growth. Wireless technologies serve as a replacement of the obsolete fixed network infrastructure and public payphones. National teledensity remains extremely low, creating enormous potential for the provision of basic services. There is also strong demand for Internet service which has been hampered by the underdeveloped telecoms infrastructure. For the country overview, see chapter 2, page 17.

Ethiopia
Ethiopia still practices a monopoly in almost all areas of its telecoms sector. Market penetration is still very low, but major efforts to roll out a national fibre backbone and wireless access networks have resulted in an acceleration of growth in all market segments. Further massive investments into fixed, mobile and Internet services, totalling US$4 billion, are planned for the five years to 2012. The government is intent on eventually privatising the national operator, ETC, and introducing competition in mobile and Internet services. For the country overview, see chapter 3, page 28.

Gabon
Following the introduction of competition between three service providers in Gabon, this relatively small and wealthy African nation has achieved one of the highest mobile market penetration rates on the continent, but its fixed-line and Internet sectors remain underdeveloped due to a lack of competition and the resulting high prices. The recently completed privatisation of Gabon Télécom may bring new impetus to the market in 2007 if coupled with further market liberalisation. For the country overview, see chapter 4, page 46.

Kenya
Kenya’s mobile market looks likely to move beyond a duopoly in 2007 with the third operator, already licensed since 2003, set to finally overcome its legal challenges and shareholder disputes. At the same time, fixed-line incumbent Telkom Kenya will be privatised and licensed to compete in the mobile sector directly, and the to-be-licensed second national operator will have a mobile concession as well. Telkom would have to dispose of its majority stake in leading mobile operator Safaricom, opening up an opportunity for strategic investors. Enormous further growth potential exists, with mobile market penetration at only just over 20%.

Convergence is ever-present in Kenya’s dynamic and fast growing market, with legalised VoIP enabling cheaper calls through newly licensed international gateways, the introduction of 3G mobile services catapulting the mobile operators into the virtually untapped Internet sector, and mobile banking services empowering the largely un-banked population. New international submarine fibre projects will bring bandwidth prices down further and open the Internet up to the mass market. Wireless broadband technologies and ADSL, soon to be followed by ADSL2, have been introduced and at least four WiMAX network rollouts are going on or being planned with the aim of providing converged voice, data and video/broadband TV (triple play) services. Mergers and acquisitions are in full swing. For the country overview, see chapter 5, page 57.

Rwanda
In Rwanda, the aftermath of the 1994 genocide and a monopolistic market structure until 2006 have weighed on the telecommunications sector, but the country is now on its way to outpace most other markets in Africa, which as a whole is already the fastest growing region in the world. The 99% privatised incumbent telco is more innovative than most of its African counterparts in the provision of market-driven, affordable services, and it was recently licensed to compete in the mobile sector as well. The country has one of the most developed fibre infrastructures in the region and is preparing to connect to the new high-bandwidth submarine cables that are being planned along the east cost of Africa. For the country overview, see chapter 6, page 105.

Tanzania
Tanzania has a fully competitive mobile sector comprising four networks and two fixed-line operators. Nonetheless, market penetration is still very low. A new converged licensing regime introduced in 2006 has brought a large number of new players into the market, including the country’s third national fixed-line and fifth mobile network operator. The liberalisation of VoIP as well as the introduction of Third-Generation mobile services and wireless broadband networks is also expected to provide a boost to the Internet sector which has been hampered by the low level of development of the traditional fixed-line network. For the country overview, see chapter 7, page 120.

Uganda
As early as 1999, Uganda became the first country in Africa where the number of mobile subscribers passed the number of fixed-line users, and the ratio is now more than 18:1. With three mobile networks, the market is consistently growing at around 50% p.a., while market penetration is still low at less than 9%. A new competition framework has been announced which will include the licensing of a third national operator and the liberalisation of VoIP, creating additional opportunities for ISPs who are already operating wireless broadband networks. The recent introduction of GPRS will enable the mobile operators to play a larger role in Internet service provision as well, and a fourth licence for 3G mobile technology is being considered. For the country overview, see chapter 8, page 142.

Key highlights

  • Fixed-line, mobile and Internet market forecasts to 2010 and 2015 for Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya and Rwanda;
  • Privatisation of incumbent telcos underway in Cameroon and Kenya;
  • New converged licensing frameworks introduced in Kenya and Tanzania, with other countries set to follow in their footsteps;
  • Full liberalisation of VoIP Internet telephony expected in Uganda;
  • A number of countries in the region have taken a world lead role by abolishing international mobile roaming surcharges;
  • 3G mobile services launched in Tanzania, commercial launch expected in Kenya before the end of the year;
  • WiMAX networks are operational or under development in almost every country in the region;
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo is set to become the world’s first entirely wireless country, with virtually no fixed-line network left.
  • Fixed telephone lines and teledensity in the DRC - 1995 - 2006
Year (March) Fixed lines Teledensity
  • 1995 36,000 0.08%
  • 1996 36,000 0.08%
  • 1998 21,000 0.04%
  • 1999 20,000 0.04%
  • 2000 36,000 0.13%
  • 2001 23,000 0.04%
  • 2002 10,000 0.02%
  • 2003 6,000 0.01%
  • 2004 10,000 0.02%
  • 2005 10,000 0.02%
  • 2006 (e) 8,000 0.01%
(Source: BuddeComm based on ITU and industry data)

For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on this region, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:

Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation;
Telecoms operators - privatisation, acquisitions, new licences and competition;
Internet and broadband development and growth;
The fast growing mobile markets of the region;
Mobile application and content developments.

1. CAMEROON
1.1 Key statistics
1.2 Telecommunications market
1.2.1 Overview of Cameroon’s telecom market
1.3 Regulatory environment
1.3.1 Sector reorganisation and liberalisation
1.3.2 Licensing
1.3.3 International gateways
1.3.4 Universal Access Fund (UAF)
1.3.5 Regulatory authority
1.3.6 Privatisation of Camtel
1.4 Fixed-line operators in Cameroon
1.4.1 Camtel
1.4.2 Pastel
1.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
1.5.1 National infrastructure
1.5.2 International infrastructure
1.6 Data market
1.6.1 Campac
1.6.2 VSAT networks
1.7 Broadband and Internet market
1.7.1 Internet market
1.7.2 Broadband market
1.8 Mobile communications
1.8.1 Overview of Cameroon’s mobile market
1.8.2 Major mobile operators
1.8.3 Mobile voice services
1.9 Broadcasting market
1.10 Forecasts
1.10.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
1.10.2 Forecasts - fixed-line services
1.10.3 Forecasts - Internet services
1.10.4 Forecasts - mobile market
2. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
2.1 Key statistics
2.2 Telecommunications market
2.2.1 Overview of DRC’s telecom market
2.3 Regulatory environment
2.3.1 Overview
2.3.2 Regulatory authority
2.3.3 Competition in the telecom sector
2.3.4 Privatisation of OCPT
2.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
2.4.1 National infrastructure
2.4.2 International infrastructure
2.5 Internet market
2.5.1 Overview
2.5.2 Internet access locations
2.5.3 ISP market
2.6 Mobile communications
2.6.1 Overview of DRC’s mobile market
2.6.2 Major mobile operators
2.7 Broadcasting
2.7.1 Television and radio broadcasting in DRC
3. ETHIOPIA
3.1 Key statistics
3.2 Telecommunications market
3.2.1 Overview of Ethiopia’s telecom market
3.3 Regulatory environment
3.3.1 Regulatory authority
3.3.2 Telecom service licences
3.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
3.3.4 Privatisation of Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation
3.4 Fixed network operator in Ethiopia
3.4.1 Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation
3.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
3.5.1 National telecom network
3.5.2 International communication links
3.6 Data market
3.6.1 Digital Data Network
3.6.2 PADISnet
3.6.3 VSAT networks
3.7 Broadband and Internet market
3.7.1 Internet market
3.7.2 Broadband market
3.7.3 Wholesale
3.8 Mobile communications
3.8.1 Overview of Ethiopia’s mobile market
3.8.2 Major mobile operator
3.8.3 Mobile voice services
3.9 Broadcasting market
3.9.1 Regulatory overview
3.9.2 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
3.9.3 Satellite TV
3.10 Forecasts
3.10.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
3.10.2 Forecasts - fixed-line services
3.10.3 Forecasts - Internet services
3.10.4 Forecasts - mobile services
4. GABON
4.1 Key statistics
4.2 Telecommunications market
4.2.1 Overview of Gabon’s telecom market
4.3 Regulatory environment
4.3.1 Historical background
4.3.2 Regulatory authority
4.3.3 Liberalisation
4.3.4 Privatisation of Gabon Télécom
4.3.5 Interconnect
4.4 Fixed network operators in Gabon
4.4.1 Gabon Télécom
4.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
4.5.1 National telecom network
4.5.2 International infrastructure
4.6 Broadband and Internet market
4.6.1 Overview
4.6.2 ISP market
4.7 Mobile communications
4.7.1 Overview of Gabon’s mobile market
4.7.2 Major mobile operators
4.7.3 Mobile voice services
4.8 Broadcasting
4.8.1 Overview of broadcasting market
4.9 Forecasts
4.9.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
4.9.2 Forecasts - fixed-line services
4.9.3 Forecast - Internet services
4.9.4 Forecasts - mobile services
5. KENYA
5.1 Key statistics
5.2 Telecommunications market
5.2.1 Overview of Kenya’s telecom market
5.3 Regulatory environment
5.3.1 Kenya Communications Act 1998
5.3.2 Revised Telecommunications Market Structure 2004
5.3.3 New ICT Bill 2006, Universal Access Fund
5.3.4 Regulatory authority
5.3.5 Tariff regulation
5.3.6 Foreign ownership
5.3.7 Number portability
5.3.8 Telecom sector liberalisation in Kenya
5.4 Fixed network operators in Kenya
5.4.1 Telkom Kenya Ltd
5.4.2 Fixed-wireless operators
5.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
5.5.1 National telecom networks
5.5.2 International infrastructure
5.6 Data market
5.6.1 Public Data Network Operators (PDNO)
5.7 Broadband and Internet market
5.7.1 Internet market
5.7.2 Broadband market
5.8 Convergence
5.8.1 Triple play
5.8.2 Overview of broadcasting market
5.8.3 Digital TV
5.9 Mobile communications
5.9.1 Overview of Kenya’s mobile market
5.9.2 Regulatory issues
5.9.3 Mobile technologies
5.9.4 Major mobile operators
5.9.5 Mobile voice services
5.9.6 Mobile data services
5.10 Forecasts
5.10.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
5.10.2 Forecasts - fixed-line services
5.10.3 Forecasts - Internet services
5.10.4 Forecasts - mobile services
6. RWANDA
6.1 Key statistics
6.2 Telecommunications market
6.2.1 Overview of Rwanda’s telecom market
6.3 Regulatory environment
6.3.1 Regulatory authority
6.3.2 Market liberalisation
6.3.3 Privatisation
6.3.4 Interconnect
6.4 Fixed network operators in Rwanda
6.4.1 RwandaTel/Terracom
6.4.2 Artel Communications
6.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
6.5.1 National telecom networks
6.5.2 International infrastructure
6.6 Broadband and Internet market
6.6.1 Internet market
6.6.2 Broadband market
6.7 Mobile communications
6.7.1 Overview of Rwanda’s mobile market
6.7.2 Major mobile operators
6.7.3 Mobile content and applications
6.8 Forecasts
6.8.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
6.8.2 Forecasts - fixed-line services
6.8.3 Forecast - Internet services
6.8.4 Forecasts - mobile services
7. TANZANIA
7.1 Key statistics
7.2 Telecommunications market
7.2.1 Overview of Tanzania’s telecom market
7.3 Regulatory environment
7.3.1 Background
7.3.2 Regulatory authority
7.3.3 National Telecommunications Policy 1997
7.3.4 National ICT Policy 2003
7.3.5 New legislation 2005
7.3.6 Telecom sector liberalisation in Tanzania
7.3.7 Privatisation of Tanzania Telecom
7.4 Fixed network operators
7.4.1 Tanzania Telecommunications Co Ltd (TTCL)
7.4.2 Zanzibar Telecommunications Corporation
7.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
7.5.1 National telecom network
7.5.2 International infrastructure
7.6 Data market
7.6.1 Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) networks
7.6.2 Data operators
7.7 Broadband and Internet market
7.7.1 Internet market
7.7.2 Broadband market
7.7.3 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony
7.8 Mobile communications
7.8.1 Overview of Tanzania’s mobile market
7.8.2 Mobile technologies
7.8.3 Major mobile operators
7.8.4 Mobile voice services
7.9 Broadcasting
7.9.1 Overview of broadcasting market
7.9.2 Public TV broadcasters
7.9.3 Private TV broadcasters
8. UGANDA
8.1 Key statistics
8.2 Telecommunications market
8.2.1 Overview of Uganda’s telecom market
8.3 Regulatory environment
8.3.1 Background
8.3.2 Telecommunications Policy 1996
8.3.3 Uganda Communications Act 1997
8.3.4 New ICT Policy 2006
8.3.5 Regulation of Interception of Communication Bill 2007
8.3.6 Regulatory authority
8.3.7 Telecom sector liberalisation in Uganda
8.3.8 Privatisation of Uganda Telecom
8.3.9 New competition framework 2005
8.4 Fixed network operators in Uganda
8.4.1 Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL)
8.4.2 MTN Uganda Ltd
8.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
8.5.1 National telecom network
8.5.2 International infrastructure
8.6 Data market
8.6.1 Data infrastructure
8.7 Broadband and Internet market
8.7.1 Internet market
8.7.2 Broadband Market
8.8 Convergence
8.8.1 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony
8.8.2 Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
8.8.3 Powerline Communication (PLC)
8.8.4 E-commerce
8.8.5 E-banking
8.8.6 E-government
8.8.7 Overview of the broadcasting market
8.8.8 Digital TV
8.9 Mobile communications
8.9.1 Overview of Uganda’s mobile market
8.9.2 Major mobile operators
8.9.3 Mobile voice services
8.9.4 Mobile data services
9. GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS


List of Exhibits


Exhibit 1 - Legal status of telecoms services in Ethiopia
Exhibit 2 - The CCK coup of 2005
Exhibit 3 - Texting elephants
Exhibit 4 - Licences issued under the new CLF - November 2006
Exhibit 5 - VSAT users
Exhibit 6 - Licensed ISPs in Uganda


List of Tables


Table 1 - Country statistics Cameroon - 2006
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - September 2006
Table 3 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 4 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 6 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2006
Table 8 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1997 - 2006
Table 9 - Internet host computers - 1997 - 2005
Table 10 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and market share - 2006
Table 11 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2006
Table 12 - Forecast fixed-line and fixed-wireless subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 13 - Forecast Internet user growth - 2010; 2015
Table 14 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 15 - Country statistics Democratic Republic of Congo - 2006
Table 16 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 17 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 18 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 19 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 20 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 21 - Fixed telephone lines and teledensity - 1995 - 2006
Table 22 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1996 - 2006
Table 23 - Internet host computers - 1996 - 2005
Table 24 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - 2006
Table 25 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1996 - 2006
Table 26 - Country statistics Ethiopia - 2006
Table 27 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 28 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 29 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 30 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 31 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 32 - Domestic and international telephone traffic - 1994 - 2005
Table 33 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2006
Table 34 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1996 - 2006
Table 35 - Internet subscribers - 1997 - 2006
Table 36 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1999 - 2006
Table 37 - Forecast fixed-line and fixed-wireless subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 38 - Forecast Internet user growth - 2010; 2015
Table 39 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 40 - Country statistics Gabon - 2006
Table 41 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 42 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 43 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 44 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 45 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 46 - Gabon Télécom fixed-line revenue - 2003 - 2005
Table 47 - Fixed-lines in service and teledensity - 1997 - 2006
Table 48 - International Internet bandwidth - 1999 - 2005
Table 49 - Internet users and penetration rate - 2002 - 2006
Table 50 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - 2006
Table 51 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1999 - 2006
Table 52 - Forecast fixed-line and fixed-wireless subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 53 - Forecast Internet user growth - 2010; 2015
Table 54 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 55 - Country statistics Kenya - 2006
Table 56 - Telephone network statistics - June 2006
Table 57 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 58 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 59 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 60 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 61 - Fixed lines in service and annual change - 1995 - 2006
Table 62 - Internet users and annual growth - 1996 - 2006
Table 63 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - 2006
Table 64 - Mobile subscribers and annual change - 1996 - 2006
Table 65 - Forecast fixed-line and fixed-wireless growth - 2010; 2015
Table 66 - Forecast Internet user growth - 2010; 2015
Table 67 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 68 - Country statistics Rwanda - 2006
Table 69 - Telephone network statistics - June 2006
Table 70 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 71 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 72 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 73 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 74 - Fixed-lines in service and teledensity - 1999 - 2006
Table 75 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1999 - 2006
Table 76 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - 2006
Table 77 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1999 - 2006
Table 78 - Forecast fixed-line and fixed-wireless subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 79 - Forecast Internet user growth - 2010; 2015
Table 80 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - 2010; 2015
Table 81 - Country statistics Tanzania - 2006
Table 82 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 83 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 84 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 85 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 86 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 87 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2006
Table 88 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1996 - 2006
Table 89 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - 2006
Table 90 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2006
Table 91 - Country statistics Uganda - 2006
Table 92 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 93 - Internet provider statistics - 2006
Table 94 - Internet user statistics - September 2006
Table 95 - Mobile statistics - 2006
Table 96 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 97 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2006
Table 98 - Total data uplink and downlink capacity - 1998 - 2004
Table 99 - Internet users - 1995 - 2006
Table 100 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual growth - 2006
Table 101 - Mobile subscribers - 1996 - 2006
Table 102 - MTN Uganda subscribers - 2000 - 2006
Table 103 - MTN Uganda ARPU - 2001 - 2006

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