Mozambique - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
Mozambique mobile market retaining millions of unregistered SIM
Although delayed by the long civil war which ended in 1992, Mozambique was one of the first countries in the region to embark upon telecom reform. As a result, some parts of the sector have seen the introduction of measures which have promoted competition, and which promote access to infrastructure. The mobile segment in particular has shown strong growth since the introduction of competition in 2003 between Vodacom Mozambique and mCel, the incumbent mobile subsidiary of the national telco Telecomunicações de Moçambique (TdM). Mobile penetration remains far below the average for the region, and given that the country has relatively low fixed-line penetration there is considerable room for further growth in coming years. This has been stimulated by the launch of commercial services from the third operator Movitel, which is backed by Vietnam's Viettel.
In recent years the government has drafted legislation aimed at enforcing the registration of SIM cards (with mixed results, though progress was made during 2016) as also the sharing of network infrastructure. These measures are aimed at improving security (in relation to SIM card registration), reducing operational and investment costs, and enabling players to provide converged voice, data and TV services over single networks.
The poor fixed-line infrastructure has largely held back the market for fixed-line internet services, and as a result mobile internet accounts for most connections. The high cost of international bandwidth had long hampered internet use, given the relatively high cost of access, though the landing of two international submarine cables (SEACOM and EASSy) has reduced the cost of bandwidth and so led to drastic reductions in broadband retail prices.
There is some cross-platform competition, with DSL, cable broadband, WiMAX, 3G and limited fibre broadband available. Further improvements can be expected from the ongoing rollout of a national fibre backbone networks by TdM and the mobile operators.
Incumbent telco MdT contracts Intelsat for satellite broadband and backhaul services; regulator seeks consultants on interconnection tariffs; draft legislation submitted to encourage network sharing; government suggests that struggling telcos MdT and mCel be merged; millions of SIM cards still unregistered after deadline; regulator secures spectrum monitoring equipment; Movitel's investment strategy leading to rapid subscriber gains; Liquid Sea and Africa-1 submarine cable systems to improve bandwidth into 2018; additional DTTV transmitters installed; Mozambique joins the Alliance for Affordable Internet, aiming to provide broadband at less than 5% of average monthly income; Mobile Termination Rates reduced by 20%; fibre optic backbone network rollouts; Vodacom signs deal with Electricidade de Mocambique to market pre-paid top-up cards for electricity via the M-Pesa service; report update includes operator data updates to Q2 2016, ITU market data updates, recent market developments.
Estimated market penetration rates in Mozambique's telecoms sector 2016 (e)
Market | Penetration rate
Fixed-line telephony | 0.3%
Internet users | 6.4%
Mobile SIM (population) | 77%
Companies mentioned in this report:
Telecomunicações De Moçambique (TdM); Vodacom Mozambique; mCel (TdM); Movitel (Viettel); Teledata (TdM); TV Cabo; Intra; Tropical Web, SEACOM.