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South Africa - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

South Africa - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

South Africa’s telecom regulator seeks ZAR100 billion for ICT projects

South Africa’s telecom sector boasts one of the continent’s most advanced networks in terms of technology deployed and services provided. Nevertheless, the fixed-line infrastructure for many years suffered from under-investment by the monopoly incumbent Telkom. The poor level of service encouraged the growth of the mobile sector for the provision of voice and data services. As a result, the mobile sector has become a key driver of the overall market. As well as carrying most voice traffic, mobile networks account for 97% of all internet connections.

Under a converging regulatory regime, hundreds of alternative service providers have been able to enter the market to offer a range of services, while the main mobile operators Vodacom, MTN and Cell C have invested heavily in their own backhaul fibre as well as on consumer services based on FttP. In addition, many municipalities, including the country’s largest cities, are implementing their own metropolitan fibre and wireless broadband networks.

The end of Telkom’s monopoly on international submarine fibre optic cables also reduced the cost of telecom services dramatically. A new cable, expected to come online in 2017, with further increase international bandwidth and so improve services generally.

A notable regulatory matter currently shaping the market include mergers and acquisitions, the licensing of LTE spectrum anticipated in early 2017, progress with the transition to digital broadcasting and the reassignment of digital dividend spectrum for mobile broadband use, the unbundling of the local loop (ULL, or LLU), and the reduction of interconnect charges.

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 2016 was approaching 160%, driven partly by the popularity of multiple card use as also by the popular take-up of mobile broadband services. LTE services will be bolstered by the 2017 auction of additional spectrum in several bands. These services will go far to realising the government’s ambitious broadband connectivity program to 2030.

Key developments:

Regulator seeks to raise ZAR100 billion for ICT projects by increasing USAF levy to 1% of operator revenue;

Vox Telecom planning national long-distance fibre network in eastern areas;

Liquid Telecom acquires Neotel for ZAR6.55 billion;

Work begins on the Modderfontein Smart city development;

Vodacom contracts Alcatel-Lucent to build a GPON FttP converged network.

Department of Telecommunications allocates ZAR1.4 billion to pursue broadband initiatives;

Multisource acquires WBS;

Vumatel extends open-access network offering 1Gb/s services.

Regulator forced to push back LTE spectrum auction to May 2017;

Vodacom and MTN trial LTE-Unlicensed services;

Vodacom and MTN end mobile money services in South Africa;

Cell C launches commercial LTE-A services;

Revised MTRs set to September 2017;

SMS platform facing stiffening competition from WhatsApp and other OTT services;

Report update includes the regulator’s 2015 market report, telcos’ operational and financial data to Q2 2016, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Telkom, Neotel, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Virgin Mobile, Broadband InfraCo, Transtel, Eskom, SEACOM, SITA, Sentech, Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), Internet Solutions, FibreCo, eFive, WASACE, Network Solutions, Atlantic Internet Services, Business Connexion, Verizon Business, MWEB, Vox Telecom (DataPro), Sentech, iBurst (WBS, Blue Label), MultiChoice, Goal Technology Solutions (GTS), SmartVillage, Storm Telecom, Orbicom, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), MXit, Naspers, Media24, Standard Bank, First National Bank, ABSA, Nedbank, Barclays Bank.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table Fixed-line network statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table Internet provider statistics – 2016
    • Table Internet and broadband statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table Mobile statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
      • Table Telecom sector value added revenue and contribution to GDP – 2010 - 2015
      • Table Telecom sector investment – 2015
      • Table Telecom sector retail revenue by service – 2015
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • NETWORK ROLLOUT OBLIGATIONS
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT ACT
    • REGULATION OF INTERCEPTION OF COMMUNICATIONS ACT 2002
    • ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS ACT AND ICASA AMENDMENT ACT
    • CONVERGED LICENSING REGIME
    • NEW COMPANIES ACT
    • UNIVERSAL SERVICE AND ACCESS FUND (USAF)
    • INTERCONNECTION
    • REGISTRATION OF SUBSCRIBER DETAILS
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION
      • Overview
      • Privatisation of Telkom
        • Table Telkom principal shareholders – March 2016
      • PTN licences
      • The `Big Bang'
      • Under-Serviced Area Licences (USALs)
      • InfraCo licences
      • Number Portability (NP)
      • Carrier pre-selection (CPS)
      • Local Loop Unbundling (LLU)
      • International gateways
      • Least Cost Routing (LCR)
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • TELKOM
      • Table Telkom Group financial results – 2008; 2009 - 2016
      • Network infrastructure
        • Table Telkom - fixed line data revenue and annual change – 2002 - 2016
      • Global network services
      • VSAT
    • NEOTEL
      • Licence conditions
      • Network infrastructure
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity in South Africa – 2000 - 2017
    • NATIONAL FIBRE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Broadband InfraCo
      • Dark Fibre Africa
      • Vodacom
      • MTN
      • FibreCo
    • INTERNATIONAL SUBMARINE CABLES
      • Table South Africa's international internet bandwidth – 2000 - 2015
    • SATELLITE
    • NEXT GENERATION NETWORKS (NGN)
    • MUNICIPAL NETWORKS
      • Knysna – Africa's first municipal network
      • City of Tshwane
      • City of Johannesburg
      • Ekurhuleni (East Rand)
      • City of Cape Town
      • eThekwini (Durban)
      • Gauteng Link
    • DATA CENTRES
    • SMART INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Smart cities
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
        • Table National Broadband Policy penetration targets to 2030
        • Table Average internet access speed – 2010 - 2015
        • Table Internet revenue by sector – 2015
      • Community access projects
      • Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA)
      • Internet Exchange Points (IXP)
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa – 1999 - 2009
        • Table Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa – 2010 - 2017
        • Table Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration in South Africa – 2002 - 2016
      • Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
        • Table Forecast fixed broadband subscribers in South Africa – 2015; 2018; 2021
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Introduction
        • Table Telkom South Africa DSL subscribers – 2003 - 2016
        • Table Telkom South Africa residential ADSL tariffs – 2016
        • Table Telkom DSL subscribers – 2013 - 2016
      • Wholesale
      • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)
      • Fixed wireless
        • Table Telkom South Africa WiMAX subscribers – 2008 - 2014
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • DIGITAL TV
      • Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT)
      • Digital satellite TV
      • High Definition TV (HDTV)
    • VIDEOSTREAMING
    • INTERACTIVE TV (ITV)
      • MultiChoice iTV
    • ONLINE RADIO
    • ONLINE RETAIL
    • ONLINE GAMBLING
    • SOCIAL MEDIA
    • E-BOOKS, MOBIZINES
    • BROADCASTING LICENCES
    • BROADCAST SIGNAL DISTRIBUTORS
      • Background
      • Sentech
      • Orbicom
      • Communications: VoiP
      • Cloud services
  • DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • E-LEARNING
    • E-GOVERNMENT
    • E-HEALTH
    • E-BANKING
    • CALL CENTRES
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • General statistics
        • Table Mobile revenue by sector – 2015
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa – 1999 - 2009
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa – 2010 - 2017
      • Mobile voice (VoLTE/Wi-Fi calling
      • Mobile data
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2015
      • Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers in South Africa – 2015; 2018; 2021
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • International gateways
      • SIM card registration
      • Quality of service (QoS)
      • Market liberalisation and licence obligations
      • Community service telephones (CST)
      • Infrastructure sharing
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Digital networks
      • Other infrastructure developments
      • M2M networks
        • Table Vodacom South Africa M2M connections – 2011 - 2015
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Vodacom South Africa
        • Table Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue – 2010 - 2016
        • Table Vodacom South Africa subscribers and market share – 2002 - 2016
        • Table Vodacom South Africa mobile data subscribers – 2013 - 2016
        • Table Vodacom South Africa key statistics – 2014 - 2016
      • MTN South Africa
        • Table MTN South Africa subscribers and market share – 2002 - 2016
        • Table MTN South Africa financial data – 2012 - 2016
        • Table MTN South Africa key statistics – quarter ended June 2016
      • Cell C
        • Table Cell C mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2015
      • Telkom Mobile (8ta)
        • Table Telkom mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2016
        • Table Telkom mobile financial data – 2014 - 2016
        • Table Telkom mobile ARPU – 2014 - 2016
        • Table Telkom fixed and mobile data traffic – 2014 - 2016
      • Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs)
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Push-to-Talk (PTT)
      • Mobile TV
      • Mobile music
      • CellBook
      • m-banking
      • m-money
      • m-commerce
      • m-gaming
      • m-health
      • Mobile advertising
      • Location-based services (LBS)
      • Manobi
      • Mobile social media
    • MOBILE HANDSETS
      • Table Vodacom South Africa active data devices by type – 2012 – 2014

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