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Sudan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

US lifts embargo on telecom equipment imports to Sudan

Sudan now makes up the northern part of a country which in 2011 was separated to form the new state of South Sudan. Three quarters of the former population live in the north, where mobile market penetration is far higher. The country has a relatively well-equipped telecommunications infrastructure 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.

Estimated market penetration rates in Sudan's telecoms sector end 2015 (e)
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 77%
Fixed | 1.1%
Internet | 30%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Key developments:

Sudatel announces $267 million investment plan to 2020;
MTN launches HSPA+ services;
RedCloud, Zain provide platform for Hassa-branded mobile financial service;
Higher telecom taxes impact on sector growth; telecom networks separated between North and South Sudan;
Intensified mobile broadband competition;
Wide variation of broadband pricing and mobile ARPU;
Rapid growth in SMS traffic;
Canar Telecom sees a continuing decline in its fixed-line market share;
Regulator concludes its SIM registration project;
Upgrade to EASSy cable enabling 10Tb/s.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Zain, MTN, Sudatel, Sudani, Canar Telecom (Canartel), SudaNet, ZinaNet, Thuraya

Publication Overview:

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Sudan's telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors.

Subjects include:

Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Infrastructure developments;
Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
Convergence and Digital Media;
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and industry issues;
Telecoms operators privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE).


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 SIM card registration
10.3 Mobile statistics
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 Zain Sudan
10.4.2 MTN Sudan (Bashair Telecom, Investcom/Areeba)
10.4.3 Sudani (Sudatel)
10.5 Mobile infrastructure
10.5.1 Third generation (3G)
10.5.2 GPRS and EDGE
10.5.3 HSPA
10.6 Mobile internet and data services
10.6.1 SMS and MMS
10.7 Mobile content and applications
10.7.1 Mobile money transfer
10.8 Satellite mobile
11. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Sudan 2014
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2015 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2015
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2015 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015 (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 - 2015
Table 11 Canar Home pricing 2013
Table 14 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate 1997 - 2004
Table 15 Internet users and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 16 Fixed broadband subscribers 2010 2015
Table 18 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1996 - 2004
Table 19 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 20 Mobile market share of subscribers by operator 2011- 2013
Table 21 Zain Sudan subscribers and ARPU 2003 - 2014
Table 22 MTN Sudan subscribers and ARPU 2006 - 2014
Table 23 MTN Sudan financial data 2013 - 2014
Table 24 Sudani mobile subscribers 2011 - 2014
Table 25 Sudani mobile internet pricing Dec 2013
Table 26 Mobile broadband subscribers 2011 - 2014
Table 27 SMS traffic 2010 - 2014
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 2015
Chart 2 Internet users and penetration rate 2005 2015
Chart 3 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2015

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