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


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

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. With the ongoing migration to fibre, the incumbent telco Telkom expects to close down its copper network in 2024.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 to move into the fixed-line and fibre sector.Other key regulatory matters aimed at shaping the market include the licensing of LTE spectrum in several bands. A multi-spectrum auction has been delayed since late 2016 and this has caused some difficulties for network operators gearing up to launch 5G services. In early 2020 the regulator prepared plans to release additional spectrum to operators to enable them to manage the spike in data traffic resulting from the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.South Africa is expected to be one of the first countries in the region to launch commercial 5G services, following ongoing investment from Rain, Vodacom and MTN. Liquid Telecom in 2020 began offering a wholesale 5G service using its 3.5GHz concession, but a full commercial 5G services await the anticipated multi-spectrum auctions.BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments

MTN South Africa relaunches m-money service;Regulator to provide operators with additional spectrum in wake of COVID-19 data traffic spike;Telkom's fibre infrastructure passing close to three million premises;Comsol starts 5G fixed-wireless trials using spectrum in the 28MHz band;Regulator sets MTRs through to October 2020;Report update includes the regulators the regulators March 2020 report on the ICT sector, operator data to December 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

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 – 2020 (e)
  • Regional Market Comparison
    • TMI VS GDP
    • MOBILE AND MOBILE BROADBAND
    • FIXED AND MOBILE BROADBAND
  • Country overview
  • COVID-19 and its impact on the telecom sector
    • ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS AND RESPONSES
    • MOBILE DEVICES
    • SUBSCRIBERS
    • INFRASTRUCTURE
  • Telecommunications market
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Change in the proportion of households with telecom service by type – 2014 – 2018
      • Table Development of Telecom sector investment – 2015 – 2019
      • Table Development of telecom sector investment by sector – 2015 – 2019
      • Table Development of telecom sector revenue by service – 2015 – 2019
      • Table Development of total telecom and broadcasting revenue – 2015 – 2019
      • Table Change in fixed revenue by type – 2015 – 2019
  • Regulatory environment
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • FIXED LINE DEVELOPMENTS
      • 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
    • MOBILE NETWORK DEVELOPMENTS
      • Spectrum
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • SIM card registration
      • Infrastructure sharing
      • Roaming
  • Mobile market
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • Table Development of mobile sector revenue – 2015 – 2019
      • Table Change in mobile revenue by sector – 2015 – 2019
      • Table Development of mobile prepaid revenue by type – 2015 – 2019
      • Table Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2025
      • Table Change in the number of prepaid and contract mobile subscribers – 2015 – 2019
      • Table Change in mobile voice traffic by type – 2015 – 2019
    • MOBILE VOICE (VOLTE/WI-FI CALLING)
    • MOBILE DATA
      • SMS
        • Table Decline in SMS traffic – 2013 – 2020
      • MMS
    • MOBILE BROADBAND
      • Table Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 – 2025
      • Table Increase in the number of Telkom's mobile broadband subscribers by type – 2015 – 2019
      • Table Growth in Telkom's mobile broadband revenue – 2015 – 2020
      • Table Growth in Telkom's mobile data traffic – 2015 – 2020
      • Table Growth in overall mobile data traffic – 2015 – 2019
      • Table Growth in the number of mobile data subscribers – 2015 – 2019
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
        • Table Telkom LTE subscribers – 2016 – 2018
        • Table Development of 4G (WiMAX/LTE) population coverage – 2012 – 2019
      • LTE-U
      • 3G
        • Table Development of 3G population coverage – 2015 – 2019
      • GSM
      • Other infrastructure developments
        • Table Growth in the number of M2M connections – 2015 – 2019
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Vodacom South Africa
        • Table Development of Vodacom South Africa's mobile revenue – 2010 – 2020
        • Table Growth in the number of Vodacom South Africa's subscribers and market share – 2010 - 2019
        • Table Change in the number of Vodacom South Africa's prepaid and contract subscribers – 2017 - 2019
        • Table Growth in the number of Vodacom South Africa's mobile data subscribers – 2013 – 2019
        • Table Development of Vodacom South Africa's mobile ARPU – 2017 – 2019
      • MTN South Africa
        • Table Change in the number of MTN South Africa's mobile subscribers and market share – 2010 – 2019
        • Table Change in the number of MTN South Africa's prepaid, contract subscribers – 2013 – 2019
        • Table Development of MTN South Africa's financial data – 2012 – 2019
        • Table Development of MTN South Africa's mobile ARPU – 2013 – 2019
      • Cell C
        • Table Change in the number of Cell C mobile subscribers – 2013 – 2019
        • Table Growth in Cell C's mobile service revenue – 2013 – 2019
        • Table Increase in Cell C's mobile data revenue – 2017 – 2018
        • Table Development of Cell C's financial data – 2016 – 2019
      • Telkom Mobile
        • Table Growth in the number of Telkom's mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2019
        • Table Growth in the number of Telkom's prepaid and contract mobile subscribers – 2015 – 2019
        • Table Development of Telkom's mobile financial data – 2014 - 2020
        • Table Change in Telkom's mobile ARPU – 2014 – 2020
      • 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
  • Fixed-line broadband market
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table National Broadband Policy penetration targets to 2030
      • Table Change in fixed internet revenue by type – 2015 – 2019
    • COMMUNITY ACCESS PROJECTS
      • Table Development of the Schools Connected program – 2016 – 2019
      • Microsoft Digital Villages and telecentres
      • The Smart Cape Access Project
    • INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION (ISPA)
    • INTERNET EXCHANGE POINTS (IXP)
    • BROADBAND STATISTICS
      • Table Growth in the number of fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2025
      • Table Change in the number of fixed broadband subscribers by type – 2015 - 2019
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Table Growth in the number of Telkom's broadband subscribers – 2010 – 2019
      • Table Growth in Telkom's fixed data traffic – 2014 – 2020
      • Table Change in the number of Telkom's DSL subscribers by type – 2016 – 2019
      • Table Change in Telkom's fixed copper and fibre broadband subscribers – 2017 – 2019
      • Wholesale
      • ADSL2+
      • VDSL
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) NETWORKS
      • Table Increase in the number of Telkom South Africa's fibre ports – 2017 – 2019
      • Table Telkom South Africa fibre premises passed – 2016 – 2019
      • Table Growth in the number of fibre broadband subscribers – 2013 – 2019
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)
      • Fixed wireless
        • Table Change in the number of fixed wireless broadband subscribers – 2017 – 2019
    • DIGITAL ECONOMY
      • E-learning
      • E-government
      • E-health
      • E-banking
  • Fixed network operators
    • TELKOM
      • Table Development of Telkom Group's financial results – 2010 – 2020
      • Table Change in Telkom Group's capex by type – 2017 – 2020
      • Table Development of Telkom's data revenue – 2010 – 2020s
    • NEOTEL
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Change in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 – 2025
      • Table Change in the number of fixed lines in service by type – 2015 – 2019
      • Table Decline in fixed-line voice traffic – 2015 – 2019
    • NATIONAL FIBRE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Broadband InfraCo
      • Dark Fibre Africa
      • Vodacom
      • MTN
      • FibreCo
    • INTERNATIONAL SUBMARINE CABLES
      • Table Growth in international internet bandwidth – 2014 – 2019
      • SAT-3/WASC/SAFE
      • SEACOM
      • EASSy
      • WACS
      • African Coast to Europe (ACE)
      • SAEx, WASACE
      • Seaborn
      • METISS
      • PEACE
      • 2Africa submarine cable
    • SATELLITE
    • NEXT GENERATION NETWORKS (NGN)
    • MUNICIPAL NETWORKS
      • Knysna – Africa's first municipal network
  • Data centres
  • Smart infrastructure
    • SMART CITIES
  • Appendix – Historic data
    • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa – 1999 – 2009
    • Table Historic - Vodacom South Africa subscribers and market share – 2002 - 2009
    • Table Historic - MTN South Africa subscribers and market share – 2002 – 2009
    • Table Historic - Average internet access speed – 2010 – 2015
    • Table Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa – 1999 – 2015
    • Table Historic - Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2002 – 2009
    • Table Historic -Telkom South Africa broadband subscribers – 2003 – 2009
    • Table Historic - Telkom fixed broadband subscribers by type– 2016 – 2018
    • Table Historic - Telkom South Africa WiMAX subscribers – 2008 – 2014
    • Table Historic - Telkom data revenue – 2002 – 2009
    • Table Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in South Africa – 2000 – 2009
    • Table Historic - International internet bandwidth – 2000 – 2013
  • Glossary of abbreviations
  • Related reports

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