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Botswana - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses


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Botswana - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Botswana's government and regulator critical of Liquid Telecom joint venture

Effective regulatory reform has turned the Botswana's telecom market into one of the most liberalised in the region. There is a service-neutral licensing regime which takes into account the increasing convergence of technologies and services. A number of operators now compete effectively, particularly in the mobile segment.

Although the number of mobile subscribers fell sharply at the end of 2016, Botswana still has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in Africa. Popular use of multiple SIM cards from different operators has delayed the introduction of mobile number portability, with the telecom regulator not convinced of the facility's economic benefits. In a bid to generate new revenue streams and secure market share, the three mobile network operators (MNOs) Mascom Wireless (an affiliate of South Africa's MTN), Orange Botswana (backed by Orange Group) and BTC have entered the underdeveloped broadband sector by adopting of 3G, LTE and WiMAX technologies. In the fixed-line broadband market they compete with a large number of ISPs, some of which have rolled out their own wireless access infrastructure.

After a period of stagnation, the number of internet users has risen strongly in recent years, largely the result of lower prices following improvements in international connectivity. Historically, the landlocked country has depended on satellites for its international bandwidth, and on other countries for transit capacity to landing points of international submarine fibre optic cable systems. The landing of additional cables in the region in recent years has improved the competitive situation in this sector, while prices for connectivity have fallen by up to 70%. The stability and cheaper cost of fixed-line broadband services continues to attract subscribers, though mobile internet remains the preferred choice for most, particularly among the large proportion of younger people in the country.

The much delayed privatisation of BTC has been facilitated by the transfer of network assets and the management of BTC's involvement in two key submarine cables to the newly created wholesale operator Botswana Fiber Networks (BoFiNet). BTC through this process has been transformed into a retailer of services. An IPO was completed in April 2016. There was considerable interest in the 44% of the company made available, with 5% reserved for employees and 51% being retained by the state. Some 50,000 private investors now have a stake in the operator.

Key developments:

BTC reports 8.7% increase in revenue for fiscal 2017; government investigates potential illegality of JV between Botswana Power Corporation and Liquid Telecom; Orange Botswana partners with Barclays Bank to develop m-money service; BoFiNet completes three fibre network expansion links costing BWP200 million; regulator introduces Unified Licensing Framework; regulator imposes reduction in mobile termination rates; Orange Botswana and Mascom extend LTE services; report update includes telcos' data to Q3 2017, regulator's 2017 annual report and market data to Q1 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC); Mascom Wireless (MTN); Orange Botswana (Vista Cellular); beMobile; Botsnet; MTN Business; InfoBotswana (IBIS); Broadband Botswana Internet (BBI); OPQ Net; Mega Internet; Global Broadband Solution (GBS); Tsagae Communications; Virtual Business Network Services (VBN); Bytes Technology; Fourth Dimension; Hi-Performance Systems; Microteck Enterprises; Tharinet; Netspread; First National Bank.


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Market analysis
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Historical overview
5.2 Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA)
5.3 Universal Service and Access Strategy
5.4 Unified Licensing Framework
5.5 Infrastructure sharing
5.6 Telecom sector liberalisation
5.6.1 Regulatory reform 2006
5.6.2 Service-neutral licences since 2007
5.7 Privatisation
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC)
6.2 Liquid Telecom
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
7.2 International infrastructure
7.2.1 Submarine fibre
8. Fixed-line broadband market
8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
8.2 Market analysis
8.3 Public internet access facilities
8.4 Botswana Internet Exchange (BINX)
8.5 White space spectrum
8.6 Broadband statistics
8.7 Fixed-line broadband technologies
8.7.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
8.7.2 Other fixed broadband services
8.8 E-health, E-learning
9. Mobile market
9.1 Recent developments
9.2 Market analysis
9.3 Mobile statistics
9.4 Mobile broadband
9.5 Regulatory issues
9.5.1 Backbone infrastructure
9.5.2 SIM card registration
9.5.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
9.5.4 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
9.5.5 Roaming
9.6 Mobile infrastructure
9.6.1 Digital networks
9.7 Major mobile operators
9.7.1 Mascom Wireless
9.7.2 Orange Botswana (formerly Vista Cellular)
9.7.3 BTC (beMobile)
9.8 Mobile content and applications
9.8.1 m-banking, m-money
10. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Botswana 2017 (e)
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2017 (Mar)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2018
Table 4 Internet and broadband statistics 2017 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2017 (Mar)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Telecom aggregate financial data 2012, 2013, 2015 - 2017
Table 8 Telecom sector investment 2015 - 2017
Table 9 BOCRA Group surplus financial results 2009 - 2017
Table 10 BOCRA income 2012 - 2017
Table 11 BOCRA group income by type 2015 - 2017
Table 12 Telecom licenses by category 2011 - 2016
Table 13 BTC financial results 2005 - 2017
Table 14 BTC revenue by service 2015 - 2017
Table 15 - Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Botswana - 2000-2009
Table 16 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Botswana 2010 - 2019
Table 17 International bandwidth 2003 - 2016
Table 18 - Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Botswana - 2000-2009
Table 19 Internet users and penetration rate in Botswana 2010 - 2018
Table 20 Fixed-line broadband subscribers 2008 - 2018
Table 21 DSL broadband subscribers 2008 - 2019
Table 22 Fixed wireless broadband subscribers 2012 - 2017
Table 23 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1999 - 2009
Table 24 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010 - 2019
Table 25 Mobile market share of subscribers by operator 2010 - 2017
Table 26 Prepaid and contract market share of subscribers 2013 - 2017
Table 27 Mobile internet subscribers by operator 2012 - 2017
Table 28 MTRs 2011 2014; 2017 - 2018
Table 29 Mascom Botswana ARPU 2005 - 2017
Table 30 Mascom Botswana subscribers 2011 - 2017
Table 31 Mascom Botswana revenue 2015 - 2017
Table 32 Orange Botswana subscribers 2007 - 2017
Table 33 Orange Botswana mobile revenue 2008 - 2014
Table 34 BTC subscribers 2012 - 2017
Table 35 BTC mobile revenue by service 2015 - 2017
Table 36 Mobile money users 2011 - 2017
Table 37 Value of mobile money transactions 2011 - 2014
Table 38 Mobile money transactions 2013 - 2014
Table 39 Mobile money users by operator 2014 - 2016
Chart 1 Telecom aggregate financial data 2012, 2013, 2015 2017
Chart 2 BTC financial results 2005 2017
Chart 3 BTC revenue by service 2015 - 2017
Chart 4 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Botswana 2000 2019
Chart 5 Internet users and penetration rate in Botswana 2000 2018
Chart 6 Mobile subscribers in Botswana 2005 - 2019
Exhibit 1 Map of Botswana

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