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Sudan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The Sudan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation.

Executive summary

The third largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the biggest countries on the continent, Sudan has a large, relatively well-equipped telecommunications system by regional standards, including a national fibre optic backbone and international fibre connections. With penetration rates in all market segments still relatively low, it is regarded as one of Africa’s most lucrative telecommunications markets, receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign investment per year.

The national telco, Sudatel has been privatised for more than ten years, with major shares and management control now held by Etisalat of the UAE and Qatar Telecom. It is also listed on several regional stock exchanges. The company presided over the world’s fastest growing fixed-line market until it started substituting traditional copper lines with CDMA2000 fixed-wireless access in 2005.

Competition in the fixed-line market comes from Canartel which, interestingly, is also majority-owned by Etisalat. It too opted for CDMA2000 technology to cost effectively roll out fixed services and, like Sudatel, is offering wireless broadband services through this network following an upgrade to the EV-DO standard. The company is lobbying for a licence to offer mobile services as well but is meeting resistance from the other operators.

Sudatel exited the mobile market when it sold its GSM network to Celtel (now Zain) at a record price in 2006, following the arrival of competition the year before from Bashair Telecom. Sudatel then re-entered the mobile market independently with its CDMA network under the brand name Sudani. In October 2009 the company launched a GSM-based network overlay, keeping up with Zain and MTN in offering third generation services including HSDPA mobile broadband with up to 7.2Mb/s.

Broadband pricing varies widely between the different operators, and a stark contrast exists between their respective average revenue per user levels, with the leading operator achieving twice as much as one of its competitors, one of the highest ARPU levels in region.

Under a peace agreement, the oil-rich south of the country which has long been beyond the central government’s control and deprived of development, is establishing its own independent telecommunications regime, creating new opportunities for service providers and equipment suppliers.

Key highlights:

Market analysis 2009, outlook for 2010;
Profiles of major players in all market sectors;
Two competing national fibre backbones;
Infrastructure expansion into Southern Sudan and Darfur regions;
New international fibre connections from 2010, submarine and terrestrial;
Third 3G/HSPA network launched;
Two competing EV-DO broadband networks;
Wide variation of broadband pricing and mobile ARPU;
Possible entry of fourth player into the mobile market.Sudan - mobile market parameters - March 2009
Mobile subscribers (million)13.289
Annual change47%
Mobile penetration35%
Major mobile operatorsMTN
Sudatel (Sudani)
This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Sudan’s telecommunications market. Subjects covered include:

Key statistics;
Market and industry overviews;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Regulatory environment and structural reform;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Infrastructure development, including fibre;
Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;
Internet and broadband development and pricing;
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecommunications sector in Sudan, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:

Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
Telecoms operators - privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Internet and broadband development and growth;
Mobile data services and pricing, including 3G broadband.
Average Revenue per User (ARPU).

  • Executive summary
    • Table Sudan - mobile market parameters - June 2009
  • Key statistics
    • Table Country statistics Sudan - 2010
    • Table Fixed-line network statistics - 2010
    • Table Internet provider statistics - 2010
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2010
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2010
    • Table National telecommunications authority
  • Telecommunications market
    • Market analysis 2009 and outlook for 2010
  • Regulatory environment
    • Background
    • Regulatory authority
      • National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC)
    • Telecom sector liberalisation in Sudan
    • Universal service fund
  • Fixed network operators in Sudan
    • Fixed-line statistics
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1994 - 2010
    • Sudatel
      • Privatisation
      • Fixed-line infrastructure
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)
      • National fibre backbone
      • International expansion
    • Canartel (Canar Telecom)
      • Table Canar Home pricing - November 2009
  • International infrastructure
    • Overview
    • Submarine fibre
    • Terrestrial fibre
      • The Central African Backbone (CAB)
  • Internet market
    • Overview
      • Internet statistics
        • Table Internet users and penetration rate - 1997 - 2010
    • ISP market
      • Sudanet
      • ZinaNet
      • Mobinet
    • Sudan Internet Society (SiS)
  • Broadband market
    • Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
    • Evolution-Data Optimised (EV-DO)
      • Table Sudani mDSL pricing - November 2009
    • WiMAX
    • Broadband via satellite
  • Convergence
    • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • Mobile communications
    • Overview of Sudan's mobile market
    • Mobile statistics
      • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1996 - 2010
      • Table Mobile subscribers by operator, technology and annual change - March 2009
    • Major mobile operators
      • Zain (Mobitel, Celtel)
        • Table Zain Sudan ARPU - 2003 - 2009
      • MTN Sudan (Bashair Telecom, Investcom/Areeba)
        • Table MTN Sudan ARPU - 2006 - 2009
      • Sudani (Sudatel)
    • Mobile data services
    • Third generation (3G)
      • Table Zain Sudan 3G/HSDPA pricing - November 2009
      • Table Zain Sudan 3G/HSDPA corporate pricing - November 2009
    • Mobile content and applications
      • Mobile payments
    • Satellite mobile
  • Southern Sudan
    • Network of the World (NOW), Vivacell
    • Gemtel (G Telecom)

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