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Key Statistics, Telecom Market and Regulatory Overviews - South Africa

South Africa - Key Statistics, Telecom Market and Regulatory Overviews

South Africa's telecom sector boasts the continent's most advanced networks in terms of technology deployed and services provided. In a virtually saturated voice market, four mobile networks are competing for market share in the next growth wave, mobile broadband. Following years of delays with its licensing, the second fixed-line operator Neotel has gained market share in competition with the incumbent, Telkom SA. This, in combination with other sweeping liberalisation measures also delayed by years has changed the country's telecoms landscape fundamentally and brought prices down. Under a converging regulatory regime, hundreds of alternative service providers are pushing into the market with converged services.

The end of Telkom's monopoly on international submarine fibre optic cables has reduced the cost of telecommunication in South Africa dramatically. Three new cables have reached the country in the past few years despite regulatory hurdles.

Key regulatory matters currently shaping the market include mergers and acquisitions, the licensing of WiMAX and LTE spectrum as well as digital dividend spectrum, the unbundling of the local loop (ULL, or LLU), and the reduction of interconnect charges.

Key developments:

Licensing of LTE, WiMAX and digital dividend frequency spectrum;
Local loop unbundling (LLU, ULL);
Legal disputes around interconnect charges.

Companies covered in this report:

Telkom SA, Neotel, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Virgin Mobile, Broadband InfraCo, Transtel, Eskom, Seacom.


1. Synopsis
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview
3.1.1 Fixed-line market
3.1.2 Mobile market
3.1.3 Broadband and Internet market
3.1.4 Digital economy, media and banking
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Historical background
4.1.1 Network rollout obligations
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.2.1 Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA)
4.3 Telecommunications Amendment Bill
4.4 Regulation of Interception of Communications Act 2002
4.5 Electronic Communications Act and ICASA Amendment Bill
4.6 Converged licensing regime
4.7 New Companies Act
4.8 Universal Service and Access Fund (USAF)
4.9 Interconnection
4.10 Registration of subscriber details
5. Telecom sector liberalisation in South Africa
5.1 Overview
5.2 Privatisation of Telkom SA
5.3 Third mobile licence
5.4 Analysis of the SNO licensing process
5.5 Third fixed-line and fourth mobile licence
5.6 PTN licences
5.7 The Big Bang'
5.7.1 Value-Added Network Services (VANS) providers
5.8 Under-Serviced Area Licences (USALs)
5.8.1 Achievements
5.8.2 Challenges
5.9 InfraCo licences
5.10 Number Portability (NP)
5.11 Carrier pre-selection (CPS)
5.12 Local Loop Unbundling (LLU)
5.13 International gateways
5.14 International submarine cables
5.15 Least Cost Routing (LCR)
5.16 Broadcasting licences
5.17 Mobile TV licences
6. Spectrum licensing
6.1 WiFi
6.2 LTE, WiMAX (800MHz, 2.6 and 3.5GHz)
7. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics 2014
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2014
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2014
Table 4 Internet and broadband statistics 2014
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2014
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Telkom SA shareholders of more than 2% March 2013
Exhibit 1 VANS to self-provide or not to self-provide

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