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

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

South Africa’s telecom regulator conducts mobile data pricing study

South Africa’s telecom sector boasts one of the most advanced infrastructures on the continent. There is now considerable investment from Telkom, Liquid Telecom South Africa, Broadband InfraCo and municipal providers. Nevertheless, the poor historic availability and level of service of fixed-line networks encouraged the growth of the mobile sector for both voice and data services and this segment commands most investment and effort among telcos. Under a converging regulatory regime hundreds of alternative service providers have been able to enter the market to offer a range of services.

Other key regulatory matters aimed at shaping the market include the licensing of LTE spectrum. This was anticipated in late 2016 but in February the auction of spectrum in several bands was put on hold indefinitely. This has caused some difficulties for mobile network operators, which are desperately short of spectrum and which have had to rely on spectrum refarming and other measures to increase network capacity.

To create more competition, the government created Broadband InfraCo, a national infrastructure company to provide cheap backbone network capacity to service providers. In September 2017 the government considered a plan to merge Broadband Infraco with Sentechs satellite service to create a national broadband network managed by a single broadband provider.

The 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.

Key developments:

Neotel rebranded as Liquid Telecom South Africa;

Orange Group opens two PoPs in Cape Town and Johannesburg, providing additional wholesale internet connectivity;

Regulator to conduct mobile data pricing study, ready for March 2018;

Comsol announces 5G fixed-wireless trials using spectrum in the 28MHz band;

MTN trials LTE-LAA network providing data at over 400Mb/s;

Regulator pushes back LTE spectrum auction until further notice;

Vodacom and MTN trial LTE-Unlicensed services;

Regulator extends MTRs until September 2018;

Telkom FttC infrastructure passing close to two million premises;

MTN increases investment in fibre infrastructure by 170% in H1 2017;

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

Report update includes the regulator’s March 2017 report on the ICT sector, operator data to March 2017.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Telkom, Liquid Telecom South Africa (Neotel), Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Virgin Mobile, Broadband InfraCo, Transtel, Eskom, SEACOM, SITA, Sentech, Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), Internet Solutions, FibreCo, eFive, WASACE, Atlantic Internet Services, Business Connexion, Internet Solutions, Verizon Business, MWEB, Vox Telecom (DataPro), iBurst (Rain, WBS, Blue Label).


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Fixed-line network statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Internet provider statistics - 2017
    • Table Internet and broadband statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
      • Table Telecom sector investment - 2015
      • Table Telecom sector investment - 2015
      • Table Fixed revenue by sector - 2015 - 2016
      • Table Telecom sector revenue by service - 2015 - 2016
      • Table Telecom and broadcasting revenue - 2015 - 2016
      • Table Fixed and mobile telephony access by household - 2014 - 2015
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • 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
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION
      • Overview
      • Privatisation of Telkom
        • Table Telkom principal shareholders - 2017
      • Under-Serviced Area Licences (USALs)
      • Number Portability (NP)
      • Carrier pre-selection (CPS)
      • Local Loop Unbundling (LLU)
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • TELKOM
      • Table Telkom Group financial results - 2008; 2009 - 2017
      • Table Telkom data revenue - 2002 - 2017
    • NEOTEL
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity in South Africa - 2000 - 2018
    • NATIONAL FIBRE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Broadband InfraCo
      • Dark Fibre Africa
      • Vodacom
      • MTN
      • FibreCo
    • VOIP
      • Table VoIP subscriptions - 2015 - 2016
    • INTERNATIONAL SUBMARINE CABLES
      • Table International internet bandwidth - 2000 - 2016
      • SAT-3/WASC/SAFE
      • SEACOM
      • EASSy
      • WACS
      • African Coast to Europe (ACE)
      • SAEx, WASACE
    • SATELLITE
    • NEXT GENERATION NETWORKS (NGN)
    • MUNICIPAL NETWORKS
      • Knysna - Africa's first municipal network
    • 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 - 2015 - 2016
        • Table Internet revenue by sector - 2015 - 2016
      • 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 - 2022
        • Table Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration in South Africa - 2002 - 2018
      • Forecasts - broadband subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
        • Table Forecast fixed broadband subscribers in South Africa - 2018; 2020; 2022
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Introduction
        • Table Telkom South Africa broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2017
        • Table Telkom fixed data traffic - 2014 - 2016
      • Wholesale
      • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
        • Table Telkom South Africa fibre broadband subscribers - 2016 - 2017
        • Table Fibre broadband subscribers - 2013 - 2017
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)
      • Fixed wireless
        • Table Telkom South Africa WiMAX subscribers - 2008 - 2014
  • DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • E-LEARNING
    • E-GOVERNMENT
    • E-HEALTH
    • E-BANKING
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • General statistics
        • Table Mobile sector revenue - 2015 – 2016
        • Table Mobile revenue by sector - 2015 - 2016
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa - 1999 - 2009
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa - 2010 - 2018
      • Mobile voice (VoLTE/Wi-Fi calling
      • Mobile data
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Active mobile broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2018
        • Table Telkom mobile broadband subscribers by type - 2015 - 2017
        • Table Telkom mobile broadband revenue - 2015 - 2017
        • Table Telkom mobile data traffic - 2015 - 2017
      • Forecasts - mobile subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers in South Africa - 2018; 2020; 2022
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
        • Table Mobile numbers ported - 2014 - 2015
      • SIM card registration
      • Infrastructure sharing
      • Roaming
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Digital networks
        • Table 4G (WiMAX/LTE) population coverage - 2012 - 2017
      • M2M networks
        • Table Vodacom South Africa M2M connections - 2011 - 2015
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Vodacom South Africa
        • Table Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue - 2010 - 2017
        • Table Vodacom South Africa subscribers and market share - 2002 - 2016
        • Table Vodacom South Africa mobile data subscribers - 2013 - 2017
      • MTN South Africa
        • Table MTN South Africa subscribers and market share - 2002 - 2017
        • Table MTN South Africa financial data - 2012 - 2017
        • Table MTN South Africa mobile ARPU - 2013 - 2017
      • Cell C
        • Table Cell C registered mobile subscribers - 2013 - 2016
      • Telkom Mobile
        • Table Telkom mobile subscribers - 2009 - 2017
        • Table Telkom prepaid and contract mobile subscribers - 2014 - 2017
        • Table Telkom mobile financial data - 2014 - 2017
        • Table Telkom mobile ARPU - 2014 - 2017
      • Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs)
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Mobile music
      • CellBook
      • m-banking
      • m-gaming
      • m-health
      • Mobile advertising
      • Location-based services (LBS)
      • Manobi
      • Mobile social media

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