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South Africa - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights

South Africa - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights

South Africa’s Smart City development showcases progress with FttP

South Africa retains one of the continent’s most advanced telecoms infrastructures. It enjoys effective competition in all sectors, while operators in recent years have invested to develop cross-platform capabilities and so offer a full range of bundled services. Sweeping liberalisation measures have changed the country’s telecoms landscape fundamentally, and resulted in lower prices for consumers. This has been encouraged by the end of Telkom’s monopoly on international submarine fibre optic cables, which dramatically reduced the cost of telecom services.

South Africa’s second national operator, Neotel, has gained market share in competition with Telkom. In the process of being acquired by Vodacom, the company is set to provide an improved platform for mobile fixed-line services.

To encourage competition, the government created Broadband InfraCo as a national infrastructure company to provide cheap backbone network capacity. Vodacom and MTN have also moved into the national fibre sector, as have many municipalities. Several prominent FttP deployments are underway.

Cheaper international connectivity and new national fibre infrastructure have stimulated the broadband market. The sector is dominated by mobile network operators, while several WiMAX networks have been shut down as consumers migrate to 3G and LTE networks for internet connectivity.

South Africa’s vibrant mobile market has seen rapid growth since competition was introduced in the 1990s. SIM card penetration by early 2015 was above 150%, driven by the popularity of multiple card use. The network operators are increasingly encouraged to find innovative ways to distinguish themselves from competitors, and to streamline their operations. There has been continuing activity with mergers and acquisitions, while major infrastructure sharing deals have helped keep control costs while improving network footprints. Several additional MVNOs have entered the market recently, adding to the competitive mix.

Key developments:

Telkom makes ZAR2.7 billion bid for BCX;
Work begins on the Modderfontein Smart city development;
Constantia Fibre Initiative (CFI) to build an open access FttP network in Cape Town;
Vodacom to take over Neotel, contracts Alcatel-Lucent to build GPON network;
MTN launches FrontRow SVoD service;
Vox Telecom owners cancel plans to sell;
Vumatel extends open-access network offering 1Gb/s services
Nashua Mobile winds down, sells subscriber base to Vodacom and MTN;
Vodacom launches VoLTE services; Afrihost launches fixed-wireless LTE services;
Oger Telecom considers sale of 75% interest in Cell C;
New MTRs set to September 2017;
SMS platform facing stiffening competition from WhatsApp and other OTT services;
Report updates include telcos’ operational and financial data to Q1 2015, recent market developments.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2014
    • Table Fixed-line network statistics - 2014
    • Table Internet provider statistics - 2014
    • Table Internet and broadband statistics - 2014
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2014
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
      • Fixed-line market
      • Mobile market
      • Broadband market
      • Digital economy, media and banking
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
      • Network rollout obligations
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
      • Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA)
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT BILL
    • REGULATION OF INTERCEPTION OF COMMUNICATIONS ACT 2002
    • ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS ACT AND ICASA AMENDMENT BILL
    • CONVERGED LICENSING REGIME
    • NEW COMPANIES ACT
    • UNIVERSAL SERVICE AND ACCESS FUND (USAF)
    • INTERCONNECTION
    • REGISTRATION OF SUBSCRIBER DETAILS
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
      • Overview
      • Privatisation of Telkom
        • Table Telkom SA principal shareholders - March 2014
      • Third mobile licence
      • Analysis of the SNO licensing process
      • Third fixed-line and fourth mobile licence
      • 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
      • International submarine cables
      • Least Cost Routing (LCR)
      • Broadcasting licences
      • Mobile TV licences
    • SPECTRUM LICENSING
      • WiFi
      • LTE, WiMAX (800MHz, 2.6 and 3.5GHz)
  • FIXED-LINE MARKET
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
    • FIXED-LINE STATISTICS
      • Table Historic - Fixed lines in service by operator and teledensity in South Africa - 1999 – 2004
      • Table Fixed lines in service by operator and teledensity in South Africa - 2005 - 2014
    • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS IN SOUTH AFRICA
    • TELKOM
      • Shareholder structure
        • Table Telkom SA major shareholders - Mar 2014
      • Business segments and services
      • Financial results
        • Table Telkom Group financial results - 2008; 2010 - 2015
      • Network infrastructure
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • Telephone tariffs
      • Prepaid fixed-lines
        • Table Telkom SA prepaid fixed lines - 2002 - 2014
      • Data services and leased lines
        • Table Telkom - fixed line data revenue and annual change - 2002 - 2015
      • Global network services
      • ISDN
        • Table Telkom SA postpaid ISDN channels - 2000 - 2014
      • PBX
      • VSAT
      • International expansion
      • Structural separation
    • NEOTEL
      • Licence conditions
      • Shareholder structure and funding
      • Financial performance
      • Network infrastructure
      • Services and market potential
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • NEXT GENERATION NETWORKS (NGN)
      • Telkom
      • Neotel
      • Transtel
      • Eskom
      • SITA
    • NATIONAL FIBRE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Telkom and Neotel
      • Broadband InfraCo
      • Dark Fibre Africa
      • Mobile operators
      • FibreCo
      • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
    • NATIONAL PRIVATE NETWORKS
      • Overview
      • Transtel
      • Eskom
      • Other electricity utilities
      • State IT Agency (SITA)
    • SENTECH
    • 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
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine fibre
    • SATELLITE
    • SMART CITIES
  • INTERNET MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
      • Internet statistics
        • Table Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa - 1999 - 2004
        • Table Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa - 2005 - 2015
    • INTERNET DEMOGRAPHICS
    • COMMUNITY ACCESS PROJECTS
      • Microsoft Digital Villages and telecentres
      • The Smart Cape Access Project
      • Intel's `World Ahead' initiative
    • SOUTH AFRICA'S ISP MARKET
      • Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA)
      • Selected major ISPs
        • Table Telkom DSL subscribers - 2012 - 2014
    • FORECASTS - INTERNET USERS - 2015, 2018
      • Table Forecast internet users in South Africa - 2015; 2018
      • Notes on scenario forecasts
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Fixed-line broadband subscribers in South Africa - 2002 - 2014
        • Table Total broadband subscribers in South Africa - 2004 - 2014
      • International internet bandwidth
        • Table South Africa's international internet bandwidth - 2001 - 2013
    • ADSL
      • Table Telkom South Africa ADSL subscribers - 2003 - 2013
      • Major retailers
      • Tariffs
        • Table Telkom South Africa residential ADSL tariffs - 2014
      • Wholesale
      • ADSL2+
      • VDSL
    • BROADBAND OVER POWERLINES (BPL)
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP)
    • WIRELESS BROADBAND
      • WiFi
      • WiMAX
        • Table Telkom South Africa WiMAX subscribers - 2008 - 2014
        • Table Neotel South Africa WiMAX tariffs - 2014
      • EV-DO
      • Wireless Access Providers Association (WAPA)
        • Table WAPA South Africa industry survey - 2006 - 2008
      • MyWireless (Sentech) - decommissioned
        • Table Sentech MyWireless subscribers in South Africa (historic) - 2005 - 2008
      • iBurst (WBS, Blue Label)
        • Table iBurst subscribers in South Africa - 2005 - 2012
      • White Space spectrum
    • 3G AND 4G MOBILE BROADBAND
    • BROADBAND VIA SATELLITE
    • FORECASTS
      • Broadband subscribers - 2015, 2018
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers in South Africa - 2015; 2018
    • VOIP TELEPHONY
      • Market overview
      • VoIP interconnection and peering
      • Major VoIP providers
      • Mobile VoIP
      • Call centres
    • IPTV, TRIPLE PLAY
  • DIGITAL MEDIA/ DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • BROADCASTING LICENCES
    • BROADCAST SIGNAL DISTRIBUTORS
      • Background
      • Sentech
      • Orbicom
    • DIGITAL MEDIA
      • Digital TV
      • Video-on-Demand (VoD)
      • Personal Video Recorders (PVR)
      • Interactive TV (iTV)
      • Online radio
      • Online retail
      • Online advertising
        • Table Online advertising revenue and annual change in South Africa - 2003; 2006 - 2011
      • Online media
        • Table South African unique monthly users of Top 10 websites - 2013 vs 2012
      • Social media
      • E-books, Mobizines
      • User Generated Content (UGC)
      • Search engines
    • DIGITAL ECONOMY
      • E-learning
      • E-government
      • E-health
      • E-banking
      • M-banking)
      • Online gambling
      • Cloud services
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • OVERVIEW OF SOUTH AFRICA'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • General statistics
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa - 1999 - 2004
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa - 2005 - 2015
    • MOBILE BROADBAND/DATA
      • Mobile data revenue
      • SMS
        • Table Vodacom SMS traffic - 2012 - 2014
      • MMS
    • FORECASTS
      • Forecast - mobile subscribers - 2015, 2018
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers in South Africa - 2015; 2018
      • Forecast - mobile broadband users - 2015, 2018
        • Table Forecast mobile broadband users in South Africa - 2015; 2018
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum
      • Prices
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • International gateways
      • Fees and obligations for 1800MHz spectrum
      • SIM card registration
      • Quality of service (QoS)
      • Market liberalisation and licence obligations
      • Community service telephones (CST)
      • Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC)
      • Infrastructure sharing
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • DIGITAL NETWORKS
      • 3G/UMTS
        • Table Vodacom South Africa broadband subscribers - 2006 - 2012
      • Long-term Evolution (LTE)
    • OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS
      • WAP
      • GPRS
      • EDGE
      • High Sped Packet Access (HSPA)
      • Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)
      • M2M networks
        • Table Vodacom South Africa M2M connections - 2011 - 2014
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Vodacom South Africa
        • Table Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue - 2010 - 2015
        • Table Vodacom South Africa subscribers and market share - 2002 - 2014
        • Table Vodacom South Africa key statistics - December 2014
      • MTN South Africa
        • Table MTN South Africa subscribers and market share - 2002 - 2015
        • Table MTN South Africa financial data - 2012 - 2014
        • Table MTN South Africa key statistics - quarter ended March 2015
      • Cell C
        • Table Cell C mobile subscribers - 2013 - 2014
      • Telkom Mobile (8ta)
        • Table Telkom mobile subscribers - 2009 - 2014
      • Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs)
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Push-to-Talk (PTT)
      • Mobile TV
      • Mobile music
      • CellBook
      • M-commerce
      • M-gaming
      • Mobile advertising
      • Location-based services (LBS)
      • Manobi
      • Mobile social media
    • MOBILE HANDSETS
      • Table Vodacom South mobile data use - 2012 - 2014
      • Table Vodacom South Africa smartphone vs. dongle users - 2009 - 2014
      • Table Vodacom South Africa active data devices by type - 2012 - 2014
      • Handset subsidies

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