South Africa - Mobile Infrastructure, Operators and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
South Africa's mature mobile market has seen rapid growth since competition was introduced to the sector in the 1990s. SIM card penetration by late 2017 was approaching 143%, driven partly by the popularity of multiple card use as also by the take-up of mobile broadband services. Mobile internet accounts for about 95% of all internet connections, and with about 94% of the population able to access WiMAX/LTE services this sector will continue to see strong growth in coming years.
While the major mobile operators have become the country's leading broadband providers, they have also branched out into providing fixed services, fibre backbone networks, international fibre connectivity, mobile banking and mobile entertainment in a rapidly converging environment. The fixed-line incumbent Telkom has reacted to these market dynamics by launching its own mobile network. Several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) have entered the market, adding to the competitive mix.
Additional spectrum to be made available during 2019; Telkom completes Massive MIMO technology trials; regulator to conduct mobile data pricing study; Comsol announces 5G fixed-wireless trials using spectrum in the 28MHz band; MTN trials LTE-LAA network providing data at over 400Mb/s; regulator forced to push back LTE spectrum auction until further notice; Vodacom and MTN trial LTE-Unlicensed services; regulator extends MTRs until September 2018; Rain launches LTE-A network; Telkom re-farms 1.8GHz allocation for LTE services; Vodacom ends M-Pesa service in South Africa; Cell C launches commercial LTE-A services; Nashua Mobile winds down, sells subscriber base to Vodacom and MTN; Afrihost launches fixed-wireless LTE services; report update includes the regulator's 2016/17 report, the regulator's March 2017 report on the ICT sector, operator data to December 2017.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom (Heita, 8ta), Virgin Mobile.
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