Market Research Logo

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

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

South Africa’s MNOs anticipating spectrum auction in 2019

South Africa’s telecom sector boasts one of the most advanced infrastructures on the continent. There is has been considerable investment from Telkom, Liquid Telecom South Africa, Broadband InfraCo and municipal providers as well as from mobile network operators all aimed at improving network capabilities. The focus in recent years has been on backhaul capacity and on fibre and LTE networks to extend and improve internet service connectivity.

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 continues to command most investment and effort among telcos. Under a converged regulatory regime many alternative service providers have been able to enter the market to offer a range of services. This regime also encouraged the major mobile network operators Vodacom, MTN and Cell C to move into the fixed-line and fibre sector. Proposed amendments to the Communications Act are intended to improve the ability of new entrants to access networks and further develop a competitive market landscape.

Other key regulatory matters aimed at shaping the market include the licensing of LTE spectrum in several bands. A multi-spectrum auction, delayed since late 2016 and which has caused some difficulties for mobile network operators desperately short of spectrum and which have had to rely on spectrum refarming and other measures to increase network capacity, is scheduled for mid-2019.

The broadband market is emerging from many years of slow growth exacerbated by an expensive operating environment created by Telkom’s market dominance and its control of access to international bandwidth. Although wireless broadband services have carved out market share from existing DSL offerings, the sector is dominated by mobile networks and despite a growing fixed-line footprint the government’s plan to provide national broadband coverage is largely based on mobile technologies.

The mature mobile market has seen rapid growth since competition was introduced to the sector in the 1990s. SIM card penetration is high though is driven partly by the popularity of multiple card use as also by the take-up of mobile broadband services. The major mobile operators have branched into providing mobile banking and mobile entertainment services, while the market entry of a growing number of MVNOs has added to the competitive mix.

Key developments:

Telkom signs roaming and facilities leasing agreement with MTN;
Delayed spectrum auction rescheduled for April 2019;
Telkom completes Massive MIMO technology trials, aims to decommission 2G infrastructure;
Liquid Telecom South Africa to build a 4G network;
Comsol starts 5G fixed-wireless trials using spectrum in the 28MHz band;
Regulator sets MTRs through to October 2020;
Telkom FttC infrastructure passing close to three million premises;
Cell C extends wholesale fibre partnerships;
MTN acquires Smart Village, expands fibre network reach;
Telkom converts public payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots;
Vumatel extends open-access network offering 1Gb/s services;
South Africa to deploy nine nanosatellites;
Microsoft to build two data centres during 2019;
Telkom reports strong regulator growth in fiscal H1 2019, continues work on the Modderfontein Smart City development;
Vodacom contracts Alcatel-Lucent to build a GPON FttP converged network;
Report update includes the regulator’s the regulator’s March 2018 report on the ICT sector, operator data to September 2018.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vodacom, MTN (MTN Network Solutions), Cell C, Telkom (Heita, 8ta), Virgin Mobile, Neotel, Atlantic Internet Services, Business Connexion, Internet Solutions, Verizon Business, MWEB, Vox Telecom (DataPro), Sentech, iBurst (WBS, Blue Label), Liquid Telecom South Africa (Neotel, Tata), Virgin Mobile, Broadband InfraCo, Transtel, Eskom, SEACOM, Transtel, Eskom, SITA, Sentech, Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), FibreCo, eFive, WASACE.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - South Africa - 2018
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
      • Table Telecom sector investment - 2015 - 2017
      • Table Telecom sector investment by sector - 2015 - 2017
      • Table Fixed revenue by sector - 2015 - 2017
      • Table Telecom sector revenue by service - 2015 - 2017
      • Table Telecom and broadcasting revenue - 2015 - 2017
      • Table Fixed and mobile telephony access by household - 2014 - 2018
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT ACT
    • ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS ACTS (2005, 2014)
    • 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
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • OVERVIEW
    • TELKOM
      • Table Telkom Group financial results - 2010 - 2019
      • 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
      • Table Fixed-line voice traffic - 2015 - 2018
    • NATIONAL FIBRE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Broadband InfraCo
      • Dark Fibre Africa
      • FibreCo
    • VOIP
      • Table VoIP subscriptions - 2015 - 2017
    • INTERNATIONAL SUBMARINE CABLES
      • Table International internet bandwidth - 2000 - 2016
      • SAT-3/WASC/SAFE
      • SEACOM
      • EASSy
      • WACS
      • African Coast to Europe (ACE)
      • SAEx, WASACE
      • Seaborn
    • 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 - 2017
        • Table Internet revenue by sector - 2015 - 2017
      • 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 - 2019; 2021; 2023
        • Table Forecast fixed broadband subscribers in South Africa - 2019; 2021; 2023
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Introduction
        • Table Telkom South Africa broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2017
        • Table Telkom fixed data traffic - 2014 - 2016
        • Table DSL subscriptions - 2015 - 2018
      • Wholesale
      • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
        • Table Telkom South Africa fibre broadband subscribers - 2016 - 2018
        • Table Telkom South Africa fibre premises passed - 2016 - 2018
        • Table Telkom South Africa fibre ports by type - 2017 - 2018
        • Table Fibre broadband subscribers - 2013 - 2018
    • 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 - 2017
        • Table Mobile revenue by sector - 2015 - 2017
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa - 1999 - 2009
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa - 2010 - 2019
        • Table Mobile voice traffic - 2015 - 2017
      • Mobile voice (VoLTE/Wi-Fi calling)
      • Mobile data
        • Table SMS traffic - 2013 - 2019
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Active mobile broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2018
        • Table Telkom mobile broadband subscribers by type - 2015 - 2018
        • Table Telkom mobile broadband revenue - 2015 - 2017
        • Table Telkom mobile data traffic - 2015 - 2018
        • Table Mobile data traffic - 2015 - 2017
      • Forecasts - mobile subscribers - 2019; 2021; 2023
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers in South Africa - 2019; 2021; 2023
    • 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
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
        • Table Telkom LTE subscribers - 2016 - 2018
        • Table 4G (WiMAX/LTE) population coverage - 2012 - 2017
      • 3G
      • GSM
      • M2M networks
        • Table Vodacom South Africa M2M connections - 2011 - 2015
        • Table M2M connections - 2015 - 2017
      • NB-IoT
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Vodacom South Africa
        • Table Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue - 2010 - 2019
        • Table Vodacom South Africa mobile data subscribers - 2013 - 2018
        • Table Vodacom South Africa subscribers and market share - 2002 - 2018
      • MTN South Africa
        • Table MTN South Africa subscribers and market share - 2002 - 2018
        • Table MTN South Africa financial data - 2012 - 2018
        • Table MTN South Africa mobile ARPU - 2013 - 2018
      • Cell C
        • Table Cell C mobile subscribers - 2013 - 2018
        • Table Cell C mobile service revenue - 2013 - 2018
        • Table Cell C financial data - 2016 - 2018
      • Telkom Mobile
        • Table Telkom mobile subscribers - 2009 - 2018
        • Table Telkom prepaid and contract mobile subscribers - 2015 - 2018
        • Table Telkom mobile financial data - 2014 - 2019
        • Table Telkom mobile ARPU - 2014 - 2019
      • Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs)
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • m- music
      • CellBook
      • m-banking
      • m-gaming
      • m-health
      • Mobile advertising
      • Location-based services (LBS)
      • Manobi
      • Mobile social media

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report