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South Africa - Broadband and Internet Market, Overview and Forecasts

South Africa’s Internet and broadband market has finally taken off after years of stagnation due to an expensive operating environment created by Telkom SA’s dominance in the fixed-line and international bandwidth market. Wireless broadband, including 3G mobile data services now rival available ADSL offerings in terms of both speed and price, and have consequently taken the upper hand in terms of subscriber numbers. With its fixed-line network reaching less than 10% of the population, the incumbent has reacted by launching its own 3G network and the country’s first commercial WiMAX service, but various competitors are hard on its heels rolling out the same technologies, including second national operator Neotel.

A new converged licensing regime has created hundreds of companies licensed to offer Internet services. There has been consolidation in the sector which is expected to continue.

The landing of four new international submarine fibre-optic cables in South Africa between 2009 and 2012 has brought down the cost of international bandwidth dramatically. Previously, Telkom had been monopolising access to the only major cable serving the country, SAT-3/WASC/SAFE. Several additional cables with terabit capacity are expected to go online in 2014.

Companies covered in this report:

Telkom SA, Neotel, Vodacom, MTN Network Solutions, Cell C, Atlantic Internet Services, Business Connexion, Internet Solutions, Verizon Business, MWEB, Vox Telecom (DataPro), Sentech, iBurst (WBS, Blue Label).


1. Synopsis
2. Internet market
2.1 Overview
2.1.1 Internet statistics
2.2 Internet demographics
2.3 Community access projects
2.3.1 Microsoft Digital Villages and telecentres
2.3.2 The Smart Cape Access Project
2.3.3 Intel’s ‘World Ahead’ initiative
3. South Africa’s ISP market
3.1 Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA)
3.1.1 Internet Exchange Points (IXP)
3.2 Selected major ISPs
3.2.1 Atlantic Internet Services
3.2.2 Business Connexion
3.2.3 Internet Solutions (IS)
3.2.4 MTN Network Solutions
3.2.5 MWEB
3.2.6 TelkomInternet, SAIX
3.2.7 Vox Telecom (DataPro)
4. Broadband market
4.1 Overview
4.1.1 Broadband statistics
4.1.2 International internet bandwidth
4.2 ADSL
4.2.1 Major retailers
4.2.2 Tariffs
4.2.3 Wholesale
4.2.4 ADSL2+
4.2.5 VDSL
4.3 Wireless broadband
4.3.1 WiFi
4.3.2 WiMAX
4.3.3 EV-DO
4.3.4 Wireless Access Providers Association (WAPA)
4.3.5 MyWireless (Sentech) – decommissioned
4.3.6 iBurst (WBS, Blue Label)
4.4 3G and 4G mobile broadband
4.5 Broadband via satellite
4.6 Broadband over powerlines (BPL)
5. Forecasts
5.1 Forecast – Internet users – 2014, 2017
5.2 Forecast – Broadband subscribers – 2014, 2017
5.3 Notes on scenario forecasts
6. Related reports
Table 1 – Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa – 1999 - 2013
Table 2 – Broadband subscribers in South Africa – 2004 - 2012
Table 3 – Telkom South Africa ADSL subscribers – 2003 - 2012
Table 4 – Telkom South Africa residential ADSL tariffs – March 2013
Table 5 – Telkom South Africa WiMAX subscribers – 2008 - 2012
Table 6 – WAPA South Africa industry survey – 2006 - 2008
Table 7 – Sentech MyWireless subscribers in South Africa – 2005 - 2008
Table 8 – iBurst subscribers in South Africa – 2005 - 2012
Table 9 – Forecast Internet users in South Africa – 2014; 2017
Table 10 – Forecast broadband subscribers in South Africa – 2014; 2017
Chart 1 – Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa – 2002 - 2013
Chart 2 – Availability and cost of international internet bandwidth in South Africa – 2004 - 2012
Exhibit 1 – Large ISPA members – March 2013

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