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Sudan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

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:

Key statistics;
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.

Market highlights:

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)

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Market analysis
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.2.1 National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC)
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Sudan
4.4 Universal service fund
5. Fixed network operators in Sudan
5.1 Fixed-line statistics
5.2 Sudatel
5.2.1 Privatisation
5.2.2 Fixed-line infrastructure
5.2.3 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
5.2.4 Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)
5.2.5 National fibre backbone
5.2.6 International expansion
5.3 Canartel (Canar Telecom)
6. International infrastructure
6.1 Overview
6.2 Submarine fibre
6.3 Terrestrial fibre
6.3.1 The Central African Backbone (CAB)
7. Internet market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
7.2 ISP market
7.2.1 Sudanet
7.2.2 ZinaNet
7.2.3 Mobinet
7.3 Sudan Internet Society (SiS)
8. Broadband market
8.1 ADSL
8.2 EV-DO
8.3 WiMAX
8.4 Broadband via satellite
9. Convergence
9.1 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Sudan's mobile market
10.2 Mobile statistics
10.3 Major mobile operators
10.3.1 Zain Sudan
10.3.2 MTN Sudan (Bashair Telecom, Investcom/Areeba)
10.3.3 Sudani (Sudatel)
10.4 Mobile data services
10.4.1 SMS and MMS
10.4.2 GPRS and EDGE
10.5 Third generation (3G)
10.6 Mobile content and applications
10.6.1 Mobile money transfer
10.7 Satellite mobile
11. South Sudan
11.1 Overview
11.2 The five national operators
11.3 Local operators
11.3.1 Network of the World (NOW), Vivacell
11.3.2 Gemtel (G Telecom)
11.4 International gateway
11.5 Mobile banking
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Sudan 2012
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2013 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2012
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2013 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2013 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1994 - 2004
Table 8 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2014
Table 9 Canar Home pricing 2013
Table 11 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate 1997 - 2004
Table 12 Internet users and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Table 13 Fixed broadband subscribers 2004 2014
Table 14 Sudani mDSL pricing 2010 vs. 2013
Table 15 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1996 - 2004
Table 16 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Table 17 Mobile market share of subscribers by operator 2011- 2013
Table 18 Zain Sudan subscribers and ARPU 2003 - 2013
Table 19 MTN Sudan subscribers and ARPU 2006 - 2013
Table 20 Sudani mobile subscribers 2011 - 2013
Table 21 SMS traffic 2012 - 2013
Table 22 Sudani mobile internet pricing Dec 2013
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 2014
Chart 2 Internet users and penetration rate 2005 2014
Chart 3 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2014
Exhibit 1 Maps of Sudan and South Sudan

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