Mauritius - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband : Market Insights and Statistics
Solid FttP progress made to fulfil the 2020 broadband program
This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Mauritius's telecommunications market.
Subjects covered include:
Key statistics; Market and industry overviews; The impact of the global economic crisis; Government policies affecting the telecoms industry; Market liberalisation and regulatory issues; Telecoms operators privatisation, acquisitions, new licences; Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband); Infrastructure development, including FttC and FttP; Mobile voice and data markets; Internet and broadband development, including IPTV, triple play; Broadband pricing trends, including 3G mobile; Digital media (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).
The island nation of Mauritius benefits from an advanced and innovative telecom sector. It was the first market in the greater Africa region to launch cellular systems (in 1989), the first to provide commercial 3G mobile service (2004), the first in the world to develop a nationwide WiMAX wireless broadband network (2005), and one of the first to launch IPTV services (2006). 4G services based on LTE have also been launched, providing data at up to 100Mb/s.
With strong tourism and financial services sectors, Mauritius's economy is expected to continue growing at more than 4% per year.
The incumbent telco, Mauritius Telecom has been partially privatised and now benefits from the scale and technical prowess of France Telecom/Orange, which holds a 40% interest in the operator. All sectors of the market are open to competition. Served by a modern, digital fixed-line network, fibre optic submarine cables for international connectivity, three mobile networks, a number of broadband and other service providers, Mauritius is successfully pursuing a policy to make telecommunications the fifth pillar of its economy and to become a regional telecom hub with Singapore as a role model. The government has been active in promoting its national broadband policy, and also been instrumental in securing infrastructure upgrades, including an upgrade for satellite connectivity to Rodrigues, which became operational in mid-2013.
The mobile market, with penetration at 122%, is migrating from voice to data services. There are three GSM networks Orange (Mauritius Telecom in partnership with France Telecom/Orange), Emtel (operated by Millicom International) and Mahanagar, a subsidiary of India's MTNL which is also the islands second fixed-line operator using CDMA2000 technology.
The highest growth rates are currently seen in the mobile broadband sector, where HSPA and EV-DO based 3G services are competing with fixed-line DSL and other wireless broadband offerings, including WiMAX. FttC and FttP rollouts are in progress and have already brought 100Mb/s connections to businesses, with nearly nationwide coverage planned for 2015. The landing of a second international submarine fibre optic cable has brought prices down further in a broadband market that was already one of Africa's most developed.
Bharat Telecom launched phase two of its fibre broadband project; Mauritius Telecom reports fall in revenue for 2013 but continues investment in national fibre network; Millicom sells its stake in Emtel to Currimjee Jeewanjee; Mauritius Telecom aims to expand the reach of its FttP network to 50,000 households by the end of 2014, with FttP delivering 30Mb/s services to 60% of households by 2015, scaling up to 100Mb/s nationally by 2020 as part of the National Broadband Policy 2012-2020; telecom sector's share of overall ICT revenue continues to fall; regulator reduces price international private leased circuits by 16%, effective from early 2014; regulator sets up an internet service capped at Rs200 per month to encourage connectivity, subsidised by the Universal Service Fund; report includes telcos operating data to Q1 2014, regulator's, market data to December 2013, recent market developments.
Estimated market penetration rates in Mauritius's telecoms sector end-2013 Market | Penetration rate Mobile | 121% Fixed | 26% Internet | 47% (Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)