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2006 - Africa Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland


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

This report provides information on Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland. Each country has its own chapter and covers the following subjects.

Key Statistics
Market Overview
Regulatory Environment
Major Players
Infrastructure
Fixed network Services
Data
Internet
Broadband
Convergence
Mobile Communications
Broadcasting


South Africa is the economic powerhouse and leading telecommunications market of the continent, but a lack of competition in several key areas has slowed developments down in recent years and allowed the country to be overtaken by some other African countries in terms of certain key indicators. This is expected to change with liberalisation measures taken in 2005 and the launch of the long-awaited second national operator (SNO) in 2006. The small kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland are expected to follow in the footsteps of their powerful neighbour, privatise their incumbent telecom monopolies and further liberalise their markets.

South Africa’s telecom sector boasts the continent’s most advanced networks in terms of technology deployed and services provided. The much delayed and controversial process of awarding a second national operator (SNO) licence finally came to fruition at the end of 2005, but it will take almost another year to become operational. Under Telkom’s monopoly rule, fixed-line teledensity has continuously fallen since 2000, while a mobile market penetration approaching 70% is increasingly forcing the three network operators to find innovative ways of distinguishing themselves from the competition. The Internet sector has been stagnant due to an expensive operating environment created by Telkom’s dominance in the fixed-line and bandwidth market. Mobile data traffic has seen a significant increase in 2005 following the introduction of Third Generation (3G) services. Sweeping liberalisation measures taken in 2005, legalising - among other things - the use of VoIP Internet telephony, are set to change the country’s telecoms landscape fundamentally.

With its relatively well developed and diverse infrastructure, South Africa is taking a regional lead role in the convergence of telecommunication and information technologies that has finally reached the African continent as well, promising the long-awaited reduction in telecommunication costs and better availability of information and services. Internet service providers are turning into phone companies, and vice versa. Both are moving into delivering audio and video content over their networks, while in turn the traditional electronic media carriers are discovering the potential of their infrastructure for telecommunications service delivery.

Telecommunications in the small Southern African kingdom of Lesotho has undergone gradual transformation from a state-owned monopoly to a majority-privatised national operator, with competition in the mobile sub-sector since 2002. Mobile penetration exceeded 12% in 2005 compared with a fixed-line teledensity and Internet penetration of just over 2%, even though Internet usage more than doubled in 2004. The use of wireless WLL technology has led to an accelerated increase of teledensity, which in turn will foster further growth in Internet penetration. After the end of Telecom Lesotho’s exclusivity period in February 2006, more competition may be introduced in several market segments.

The telecoms sector in the small kingdom of Swaziland features an old-style posts and telecom monopoly operator for fixed services but with private participation in mobile and Internet services. Nevertheless, fixed and mobile penetration is relatively high compared with other countries in the region. While Internet usage is growing reasonably fast, the level of penetration is still well below international standards, but about average in the region. The government is considering unbundling the national operator to create discrete telecom and regulatory entities and later privatise them.

  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • LESOTHO
    • KEY STATISTICS
      • Table Country statistics Lesotho - 2004
      • Table Telephone network statistics - 2004
      • Table Internet provider statistics - 2004
      • Table Internet user statistics - 2004
      • Table Mobile statistics - September 2005
      • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
      • Overview of Lesotho's telecom market
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Telecommunication Policy of 1999
      • LTA Act of 2000
      • Regulatory authority
      • Telecom sector liberalisation in Lesotho
      • Privatisation of Telecom Lesotho
    • FIXED NETWORK OPERATOR IN LESOTHO
      • Telecom Lesotho (Pty) Ltd
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
      • National telecom network
        • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2004
      • International infrastructure
    • INTERNET MARKET
      • Overview of the Internet in Lesotho
        • Table Internet users - 1997 - 2004
        • Table Internet host computers - 1998 - 2004
      • National Internet hub
      • Lesotho's ISP market
    • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
      • Overview of Lesotho's mobile market
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Mobile subscribers by operator - September 2005
        • Table Mobile subscribers - 1996 - 2005
      • Major mobile operators
    • BROADCASTING MARKET
      • Overview
  • SOUTH AFRICA
    • KEY STATISTICS
      • Table Country statistics South Africa - 2005
      • Table Telephone network statistics - March 2005
      • Table Internet provider statistics - 2005
      • Table Internet user statistics - March 2005
      • Table Mobile statistics - September 2005
      • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
      • Overview of South Africa's telecom market
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Historical background
      • Regulatory authority
      • Telecommunications Amendment Bill
      • Regulation of Interception of Communications Act 2002
      • Draft Convergence Bill
      • Universal Service Agency (USA)
      • Telecom sector liberalisation in South Africa
        • Table Network liberalisation timeframe
      • Privatisation of Telkom SA
      • Interconnection
      • WiFi
      • Number portability
      • Telkom's submarine cable monopoly under scrutiny
    • FIXED NETWORK OPERATOR IN SOUTH AFRICA
      • Telkom SA Ltd
    • NATIONAL PRIVATE NETWORKS
      • Overview
      • Eskom
      • Transtel
      • Electricity utilities
    • CARRIER OF CARRIERS
      • Sentech
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
      • National telecom network
        • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1999 - 2005
      • Municipal networks
      • International infrastructure
      • Call centres
    • BROADBAND AND INTERNET MARKET
      • Data market
        • Table Telkom SA's fixed line data revenue and annual growth - 2002 - 2005
      • Telkom data services
        • Table Telkom SA ISDN channels - 2000 - 2005
      • VANS
      • Internet market
        • Table Internet users - 1995 - 2005
        • Table Internet host computers - 1995 - 2004
      • Internet demographics
      • Community access projects
      • South Africa's ISP market
      • Internet access providers
      • Broadband market
      • ADSL
      • Broadband over powerlines (BPL)
      • Wireless broadband
    • CONVERGENCE
      • VoIP telephony
      • Next Generation Networks (NGN)
      • Triple Play
      • Broadcast signal distributors
      • Digital TV
      • Interactive TV (iTV)
    • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
      • Overview of South Africa's mobile market
        • Table Mobile subscribers by operator and market share - September 2005
        • Table Mobile subscribers - 1994 - 2005
      • Liberalisation and licence obligations
      • Regulatory issues
      • Mobile handsets
      • Major mobile operators
        • Table Vodacom South Africa key statistics - September 2005
        • Table MTN South Africa key statistics - September 2005
      • Mobile voice services
        • Table Prepaid subscribers per operator and monthly ARPU - September 2005
      • Mobile data services
      • Mobile applications
      • Third Generation (3G)
      • Fixed-mobile convergence
  • SWAZILAND
    • KEY STATISTICS
      • Table Country statistics Swaziland - 2004
      • Table Telephone network statistics - 2004
      • Table Internet provider statistics - 2004
      • Table Internet user statistics - 2004
      • Table Mobile statistics - September 2005
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
      • Overview of Swaziland's telecom market
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Overview
      • Telecom sector liberalisation
    • FIXED NETWORK OPERATOR IN SWAZILAND
      • Swazi Telecom
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
      • National telecom network
        • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2004
      • International infrastructure
    • DATA COMMUNICATIONS
      • Overview
    • INTERNET MARKET
      • Overview of the Internet in Swaziland
        • Table Internet users - 1996 - 2004
        • Table Internet host computers - 1998 - 2004
      • Internet initiatives
      • Internet access locations
      • E-banking
      • Swaziland's ISP market
      • Swaziland Internet Exchange Point
    • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
      • Overview of Swaziland's mobile market
        • Table Mobile subscribers - 1998 - 2005
      • Major mobile operator
    • BROADCASTING
      • Free to air broadcasting
      • Pay TV
  • GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS

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