Sudan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband
SMS traffic growth of 240% to mid-2013 shows consumer preference for mobile telecoms
This report, Sudan Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband, provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Sudan's telecommunications market.
Subjects covered include:
Market and industry overviews;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
Telecoms operators privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Infrastructure development, including fibre;
Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;
Internet and broadband development and growth;
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);
Mobile data services, including 3G broadband;
Average Revenue per User (ARPU).
Following a referendum, in mid-2011 oil-rich South Sudan became the world's youngest independent state. Having been beyond the central government's control and deprived of development, it is establishing its own independent telecommunications sector, creating new opportunities for service providers and equipment suppliers.
Three quarters of the population are in the North where mobile market penetration is far higher. The North has a large, relatively well-equipped telecommunications system by regional standards, including a national fibre optic backbone and international fibre connections. The chronically poor performing economy has hindered the ability of operators to improve revenue from services and sufficiently invest in infrastructure upgrades, while social unrest in South Sudan continues to impose practical difficulties for telecom operators.
The national telco, Sudatel was privatised more than a decade ago, with major shares and management control now held by Etisalat of the UAE and by 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 is also majority-owned by Etisalat. The operator also opted for CDMA2000 technology to cost effectively roll out fixed services and, like Sudatel, offers wireless broadband services through this network, having upgraded 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.
The market for mobile internet services is flourishing, and traffic for services such as SMS more than tripled in the year to June 2013.
Higher telecom taxes impact on sector growth;
Telecom networks to be separated between North and South Sudan;
South Sudan connects to international fibre bandwidth via Kenya;
Intensified mobile broadband competition;
Wide variation of broadband pricing and mobile ARPU
Rapid growth in SMS traffic to June 2013;
Canar Telecom sees a continuing decline in its fixed-line market share.
Estimated market penetration rates in Sudan's telecoms sector end 2013
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 79%
Fixed | 1%
Internet | 24%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)
Companies covered in this report:
Canar Telecom (Canartel)
Network of the World (NOW, Vivacell)
Gemtel (G Telecom, LapGreen)