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

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

Political unrest leads to sharp fall in mobile subscriber numbers

Following a referendum, oil-rich South Sudan seceded from Sudan and became the world's youngest independent nation in 2011. Having been deprived of development for decades, it has one of the least developed telecommunications and internet markets in the world. Although this potentially can create investment opportunities for infrastructure and service providers, such developments largely depend on a negotiate end to the civil war which erupted in December 2013, and which has caused considerable mayhem and bloodshed, particularly in the oil-producing areas. While the struggle continues into 2014, and many international workers have sought sanctuary in UN bases across the country, investors in all economic sectors have been discouraged though there is activity among existing mobile network operators seeking to expand their networks in some areas of the country.

At only around 20% penetration, one of the lowest in Africa, South Sudan's mobile market has many years of strong growth ahead of it. The virtually untapped internet and broadband market will kick off once the country gains access to international fibre optic cables and a national backbone network is put in place. Sophisticated infrastructure solutions are needed to reach the 80% of the population that live outside of the main urban centres. With a negligible rate of bank account ownership, mobile payment and banking solutions are set to dominate the country's financial services sector as well.

The limits to growth are currently defined by widespread poverty and a low literacy rate, but the government recognises the positive feedback loop on development that access to information and communication technologies (ICT) can have and is providing a range of investment incentives. The international community has provided $4 billion in aid to strengthen governance and institutions in the young nation.

Estimated market penetration rates in South Sudan's telecoms sector 2015 (e)
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 27%
Fixed | 0%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Key developments:

South Sudan joins the One Network Area scheme, removing international roaming charges for calls between Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan;
Government revisits plan to build 1,600km fibre network to connect to submarine cables via Uganda and Tanzania;
Kenyan telecom regulator helping South Sudan develop ICT regulation;
Kenya and South Sudan begin work on new World Bank-funded terrestrial fibre cable;
Government forms national committee to speed up designing and building the national backbone, considers setting up the National Communications Authority (NCA) to oversee the telecoms sector;
New international fibre connections expected later in 2015;
Mobile banking solutions set to revolutionise the largely cash-based economy;
Investment incentives in the ICT sector.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Zain, Vivacell (Network of the World; NOW); MTN; Gemtel Green Network (G Telecom; LAP Green); Sudatel; Sudani; Canar Telecom (Canartel, Etisalat); fastNet; RCS Communication; iBurst; Thuraya; Yahsat; O3b Networks; Fujairah Media Group (FMG); Equity Bank.

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Market analysis
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Background
5.2 Regulatory authority
5.3 ICT Policy
5.4 Universal access
5.5 International gateway
5.6 SIM card registration
6. Business environment
6.1 World Bank ranking
6.2 Tax system, investor incentives
6.3 Investment protection
6.4 Foreign ownership restrictions
6.5 Access to land
6.6 Electricity
7. Fixed network operators in South Sudan
7.1 Fixed-line statistics
7.2 Sudatel
7.2.1 Fixed-line infrastructure
7.2.2 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
7.2.3 Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT)
7.2.4 National fibre backbone
7.3 Canartel (Canar Telecom)
8. International infrastructure
8.1 Satellite
8.2 Submarine and terrestrial fibre
8.3 The Central African Backbone (CAB)
9. Internet market
9.1 Overview
9.2 Internet statistics
9.3 South Sudan's ISP market
9.3.1 fastNet
9.3.2 RCS
9.3.3 iBurst
9.3.4 Other ISPs
10. Broadband market
10.1 Overview
10.2 EV-DO
10.3 WiMAX and WiFi
10.4 Broadband via satellite
11. Mobile communications
11.1 Overview of South Sudan's mobile market
11.2 Mobile statistics
11.3 Major mobile operators
11.3.1 Vivacell
11.3.2 Gemtel
11.3.3 Zain South Sudan
11.3.4 MTN South Sudan
11.3.5 Sudani (Sudatel)
11.4 Mobile data services
11.4.1 SMS and MMS
11.4.2 GPRS and EDGE
11.5 Third generation (3G)
11.6 LTE (4G)
11.7 Satellite mobile
11.8 Mobile content and applications
11.8.1 Mobile banking
12. Forecasts
12.1 Mobile market
12.2 Mobile banking
12.3 Internet and broadband market
13. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics South Sudan 2014 (e)
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2015 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2015
Table 4 Internet and broadband statistics 2015 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in South Sudan 2010 - 2015
Table 8 International internet bandwidth in South Sudan 2010 - 2014
Table 9 Broadband subscriptions in South Sudan, fixed vs. wireless 2010 - 2016
Table 10 Cell towers in South Sudan by operator and state 2010
Table 11 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Sudan 2010 - 2016
Table 12 South Sudan mobile market share by operator March 2015
Table 13 Vivacell South Sudan subscribers and ARPU 2013 - 2014
Table 14 Zain South Sudan subscribers and ARPU 2012 - 2015
Table 15 Zain South Sudan financial data 2012 - 2015
Table 16 MTN South Sudan revenue 2012 - 2014
Table 17 MTN South Sudan subscribers 2012 - 2015
Table 18 MTN South Sudan ARPU 2014 - 2015
Table 19 Forecast mobile subscribers in South Sudan 2015; 2020
Chart 1 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Sudan 2010 2016
Exhibit 1 Maps of Sudan and South Sudan

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