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2006 - Africa Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband Market Overviews


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

This report provides overviews of the main market segments on the continent. The following topics are covered:

Key Developments
Market Overview and Analysis
Regulatory Environment
Major Players
Infrastructure
Fixed network Services
Data
Internet
Broadband
VoIP
Mobile Communications
Broadcasting
Convergence


All sectors of Africa’s telecom markets continue to be among the fastest growing in the world, thanks largely to the rapid take-up of mobile phones and roll-out of networks.

With fixed-line and Internet penetration at little more than 3% and mobile penetration at around 15%, enormous opportunities continue to exist for telecommunications service providers, equipment vendors and investors.

Africa needs to invest US$11 billion per year over a 10-year period to reach its target of 10% teledensity by the year 2010. The private sector is expected to be the key player in the financing of telecommunications development in the region.

Many African countries are undergoing sectoral reform and massive amounts of foreign investment are flowing in as privatisation and liberalisation are progressively being introduced. More than one-third of all state telcos have already privatised and several more are set to undergo privatisation in the near future. Nigeria and Kenya, two of the biggest markets on the continent, have had difficulties with the privatisation of their national telcos in 2005 which could lead to particularly attractive opportunities for investors in 2006.

Regional and international players continued to jostle for positions in Africa’s lucrative mobile market throughout 2005, and 2006 is likely to see more consolidation. Particularly remarkable is the influx of Middle Eastern capital.

There are now more than 120 mobile networks in operation in Africa, compared with 33 in 1995.

The number of mobile phones quickly outnumbered fixed lines in most African countries, and mobile users now constitute around 85% of all African telephone subscribers - a higher ratio than on any other continent. Other wireless solutions are also used to serve as substitutes for inadequate fixed-line infrastructure and Internet access.

New mobile and fixed operating licenses will become available in several key markets in 2006. The convergence of fixed and mobile networks and services will continue to dominate the market with new licensees gaining combination licences with the ability to operate both wired and wireless systems.

Africa’s mobile networks are playing an increasing role in the delivery of data and saw their data revenues increasing by between 20% and 100% in 2005, even though much of the data traffic consists of Short Message Service (SMS) at this stage.

The first 3G mobile systems have been launched in Africa with several more scheduled for 2006. They are expected to play an increasing role in the provision of Internet services, and several mobile operators have already established themselves as ISPs.

The number of African countries offering commercial ADSL services reached 21 at the end of 2005.

The liberalisation of VoIP telephony across the continent continues and will have a significant impact on the market moving into 2006, triggering a much needed reduction of the traditionally high telecommunication costs in Africa.

Several countries in Africa have embarked on major initiatives to roll out Internet Protocol (IP)-based Next Generation Networks (NGN) which will enable them to cost-effectively deliver converged voice, data and video services under so-called triple-play models, including VoIP, Internet access and Broadband TV.

WiMAX technology will enable Africa to leapfrog to wireless NGNs. Six African countries are already deploying WiMAX systems, with Mauritius becoming the world's first country with a nationwide network.

In 2006 the ring around Africa with fibre optic submarine cables will be closed, allowing traffic to be routed between African countries, to Europe and the Pacific. Partners in the cable projects have come under scrutiny for monopolistic pricing, which may lead to lower access prices in the future.

Africa's combined international Internet bandwidth is projected to rise tenfold to more than 6Gb/s over the five years to 2006. By early 2005 it stood at close to 5Gb/s.

Convergence of Telecoms and Media is starting to happen in Africa with at least four countries currently trialing or planning to introduce Triple-Play services.

  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • TELECOMS, MOBILE AND BROADBAND OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS 2006
    • TELECOM MARKET OVERVIEW
    • KEY DEVELOPMENTS
      • Deregulation and privatisation
      • Infrastructure developments
      • Data traffic on the rise
      • Internet and broadband markets: still virtually untapped
      • Major acquisitions in Africa's mobile market
      • Convergence of telecoms and media
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • OVERVIEW OF AFRICA'S TELECOM MARKET
      • The wireless explosion
      • Internet and broadband market
    • FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS
      • The Chinese vendors, Huawei and ZTE
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • WTO MEMBERS
    • NATIONAL ICT POLICIES
    • DEREGULATION AND PRIVATISATION
      • Table African countries with independent regulators - 2005
    • UNIVERSAL ACCESS
    • AFRICAN TELECOMMUNICATION REGULATORS NETWORK (ATRN)
    • TELECOMMUNICATION REGULATORS ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN AFRICA (TRASA)
    • AFRICAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS UNION (ATU)
    • WEST AFRICAN COMMON REGULATORY FRAMEWORK 2005
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW
    • DOMESTIC INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Pan African Telecommunications Network
      • Comtel
      • East African Community digital transmission project
      • Intelecom II
      • Utilities
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Satellite networks
      • Submarine cable networks
    • IP AND NEXT GENERATION NETWORKS IN AFRICA
      • Developments in various African markets
  • DATA MARKET
    • AFRICA'S DATA TRAFFIC ON THE RISE
    • LIMITED AVAILABILITY OF ADVANCED DATA SERVICES
      • Table Countries providing advanced data services - 2005
    • VSAT NETWORKS - AN INSTANT INFRASTRUCTURE SOLUTION FOR AFRICA
  • INTERNET MARKET
    • OVERVIEW OF AFRICA'S INTERNET MARKET
      • Internet statistics
        • Table Top five African Internet user markets - 2004
        • Table Internet users in Africa - 1995 - 2004
        • Table Internet host computers - 1995 - 2004
    • AFRICAN INTERNET DEVELOPMENTS
      • Barriers to Internet development
      • Internet access locations
      • African Internet projects sponsored by international agencies
      • Internet connectivity
      • African Internet exchange points
      • African Network Information Center (AfriNIC)
    • ISP MARKET
      • Africa's largest ISP - Africa Online
      • Internet Solutions (IS)
      • Average cost of local dial-up accounts
      • Payment models for dial-up Internet access
      • Email only services
      • African ISP association (AfrISPA)
    • VOIP TELEPHONY
      • VoIP cost savings
      • VoIP regulatory restrictions
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • AN EMERGING MARKET
    • WIRELESS BROADBAND
      • The future of WiMAX in Africa
      • Sentech's MyWireless (South Africa)
      • iBurst by WBS (South Africa)
      • WiFi
      • WiMAX
    • POWERLINE COMMUNICATION (PLC)
    • INTERNET VIA SATELLITE
      • iWay Africa
      • Geolink Access
      • IP Direct
      • Intelsat
      • Sky2Net
      • SkyVision
      • PlanetSky
  • VOIP TELEPHONY
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
    • BENEFITS OF VOIP
    • BRIEF OVERVIEW OF SELECTED VOIP SERVICE PROVIDERS IN AFRICA
      • ITXC, Teleglobe, VSNL
      • iBasis
      • Net2Phone
      • VocalTec
      • Viper Networks
      • IP Planet
    • VOIP PEERING
    • VOIP REGULATORY RESTRICTIONS AND LIBERALISATION
    • VOIP TELEPHONY IN VARIOUS AFRICAN COUNTRIES
      • Algeria
      • Angola
      • Benin
      • Botswana
      • Burkina Faso
      • Chad
      • Cote d'Ivoire
      • Democratic Republic of Congo
      • Egypt
      • Ethiopia
      • Gambia
      • Ghana
      • Kenya
      • Lesotho
      • Libya
      • Madagascar
      • Malawi
      • Mali
      • Mauritius
      • Morocco
      • Nigeria
      • Senegal
      • South Africa
      • Sudan
      • Tanzania
      • Uganda
      • Zambia
      • Zimbabwe
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • ANALYSIS OF AFRICA'S MOBILE MARKET
      • Table Countries with more than one mobile network operator- 2005
      • The impact of mobile phones in Africa
      • Statistical analysis
        • Table Top 10 countries by annual growth - September 2005
        • Table African mobile subscriber growth and penetration - 1998 - 2005
        • Table Top 10 African countries by subscribers - September 2005
      • More mobiles than fixed lines
      • Average revenue per user (ARPU)
      • Churn
    • MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES
      • Analogue
      • Digital
      • Third Generation mobile (3G)
    • FIXED-MOBILE CONVERGENCE
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
    • PAN-AFRICAN MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Atlantique Telecom
      • Celtel International (formerly MSI Cellular Investments)
      • Econet Wireless International
      • France Telecom/Orange
        • Table Orange operations in Africa and subscriber numbers - September 2005
      • Millicom International Cellular
      • MTN Group Ltd
        • Table MTN Group subscribers - September 2005
      • Orascom Telecom
        • Table Orascom Telecom subscribers in Africa - September 2005
      • Vodacom Group (Pty)
        • Table Vodacom Group subscribers - September 2005
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNO)
    • MOBILE VOICE SERVICES
      • Prepaid cards
    • COMMUNITY PHONES
    • MOBILE DATA SERVICES
      • Overview
      • SMS
      • MMS
      • GPRS
      • EDGE
    • MOBILE BANKING
    • SATELLITE MOBILE
      • Globalstar
      • Inmarsat
      • Iridium Satellite LLC
      • New ICO
      • Thuraya
  • BROADCASTING MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
    • PROBLEMS FACING THE BROADCASTING INDUSTRY
    • FREE-TO-AIR TV
      • Overview
      • African Union of Television and Radio Networks
      • African Broadcast Network
      • TVAfrica (defunct)
    • PAY TV
      • Overview
      • Egypt
      • MIH Group
        • Table Naspers pay TV subscribers in Africa - 2003 - 2004
      • Other pay TV operators
    • DIGITAL TV IN AFRICA
    • SATELLITE COVERAGE
      • Arabsat
      • Eutelsat
      • Intelsat and PanAmSat
      • NewSkies Satellites
      • NileSat
      • WorldSpace
    • DIGITAL TV
      • Interactive TV
    • BUSINESS TV
    • PERSONAL VIDEO RECORDERS (PVR)
    • BROADBAND TV, TRIPLE-PLAY
    • VIDEO-ON-DEMAND (VOD)
  • CONVERGENCE AND DIGITAL MEDIA
    • CONVERGING INFRASTRUCTURE
    • BROADBAND TV, TRIPLE-PLAY
      • Video-on-Demand (VoD)
    • PERSONAL VIDEO RECORDERS (PVR)
    • CONVERGENCE DEVELOPMENTS IN VARIOUS AFRICAN MARKETS
      • Botswana
      • Egypt
      • Kenya
      • Mauritius
      • Nigeria
      • Senegal
      • South Africa
  • GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS

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