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

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South Africa's telecom sector boasts one of the most advanced infrastructures on the continent. There is has been considerable investment from Telkom, Liquid Telecom South Africa, Broadband InfraCo and municipal providers as well as from mobile network operators all aimed at improving network capabilities. The focus in recent years has been on backhaul capacity and on fibre and LTE networks to extend and improve internet service connectivity.

The poor historic availability and level of service of fixed-line networks encouraged the growth of the mobile sector for both voice and data services and this segment continues to command most investment and effort among telcos. Under a converged regulatory regime many alternative service providers have been able to enter the market to offer a range of services. This regime also encouraged the major mobile network operators Vodacom, MTN and Cell C to move into the fixed-line and fibre sector. Proposed amendments to the Communications Act are intended to improve the ability of new entrants to access networks and further develop a competitive market landscape.

Other key regulatory matters aimed at shaping the market include the licensing of LTE spectrum in several bands. A multi-spectrum auction, delayed since late 2016 and which has caused some difficulties for mobile network operators desperately short of spectrum and which have had to rely on spectrum refarming and other measures to increase network capacity, is scheduled for mid-2019.

The broadband market is emerging from many years of slow growth exacerbated by an expensive operating environment created by Telkom's market dominance and its control of access to international bandwidth. Although wireless broadband services have carved out market share from existing DSL offerings, the sector is dominated by mobile networks and despite a growing fixed-line footprint the government's plan to provide national broadband coverage is largely based on mobile technologies.

The mature mobile market has seen rapid growth since competition was introduced to the sector in the 1990s. SIM card penetration is high though is driven partly by the popularity of multiple card use as also by the take-up of mobile broadband services. The major mobile operators have branched into providing mobile banking and mobile entertainment services, while the market entry of a growing number of MVNOs has added to the competitive mix.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

Telkom signs roaming and facilities leasing agreement with MTN;

Delayed spectrum auction rescheduled for April 2019;

Telkom completes Massive MIMO technology trials, aims to decommission 2G infrastructure;

Liquid Telecom South Africa to build a 4G network;

Comsol starts 5G fixed-wireless trials using spectrum in the 28MHz band;

Regulator sets MTRs through to October 2020;

Telkom FttC infrastructure passing close to three million premises;

Cell C extends wholesale fibre partnerships;

MTN acquires Smart Village, expands fibre network reach;

Telkom converts public payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots;

Vumatel extends open-access network offering 1Gb/s services;

South Africa to deploy nine nanosatellites;

Microsoft to build two data centres during 2019;

Telkom reports strong regulator growth in fiscal H1 2019, continues work on the Modderfontein Smart City development;

Vodacom contracts Alcatel-Lucent to build a GPON FttP converged network;

Report update includes the regulators the regulators March 2018 report on the ICT sector, operator data to September 2018, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vodacom, MTN (MTN Network Solutions), Cell C, Telkom (Heita, 8ta), Virgin Mobile, Neotel, Atlantic Internet Services, Business Connexion, Internet Solutions, Verizon Business, MWEB, Vox Telecom (DataPro), Sentech, iBurst (WBS, Blue Label), Liquid Telecom South Africa (Neotel, Tata), Virgin Mobile, Broadband InfraCo, Transtel, Eskom, SEACOM, Transtel, Eskom, SITA, Sentech, Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), FibreCo, eFive, WASACE.

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Table Of Content

Scope

1 Key statistics

2 Country overview

3 COVID-19 and its impact on the telecom sector

3.1 Economic considerations and responses

3.2 Mobile devices

3.3 Subscribers

3.4 Infrastructure

4 Telecommunications market

4.1 Historical overview

5 Regulatory environment

5.1 Historical overview

5.2 Regulatory authority

5.3 Telecommunications Act

5.4 Telecommunications Amendment Act

5.5 Electronic Communications Acts (2005, 2014)

5.6 Regulation of Interception of Communications Act 2002

5.7 Electronic Communications Act and ICASA Amendment Act

5.8 Converged licensing regime

5.9 New Companies Act

5.10 Universal Service and Access Fund (USAF)

5.11 Interconnection

6 Fixed network operators

6.1 Overview

6.2 Telkom

6.3 Neotel

7 Telecommunications infrastructure

7.1 Overview of the national telecom network

7.2 National fibre infrastructure

7.3 VoIP

7.4 International submarine cables

7.5 Satellite

7.6 Next Generation Networks (NGN)

7.7 Municipal networks

7.8 Data centres

7.9 Smart infrastructure

8 Broadband market

8.1 Introduction and statistical overview

8.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks

8.3 Other fixed broadband services

9 Digital economy

9.1 E-learning

9.2 E-government

9.3 E-health

9.4 E-banking

10 Mobile communications

10.1 Market analysis

10.2 Mobile statistics

10.3 Regulatory issues

10.4 Mobile infrastructure

10.5 Major mobile operators

10.6 Mobile content and applications

11 Related reports

Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities South Africa 2018

Table 2 Telecom sector investment 2015 2017

Table 3 Telecom sector investment by sector 2015 2017

Table 4 Fixed revenue by sector 2015 2017

Table 5 Telecom sector revenue by service 2015 2017

Table 6 Telecom and broadcasting revenue 2015 2017

Table 7 Fixed and mobile telephony access by household 2014 2018

Table 8 Telkom Group financial results 2010 2019

Table 9 Telkom data revenue 2002 2017

Table 10 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in South Africa 2000 2018

Table 11 Fixed-line voice traffic 2015 2018

Table 12 VoIP subscriptions 2015 2017

Table 13 International internet bandwidth 2000 2016

Table 14 National Broadband Policy penetration targets to 2030

Table 15 Average internet access speed 2010 2015

Table 16 Internet revenue 2015 2017

Table 17 Internet revenue by sector 2015 2017

Table 18 Historic-Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa 1999 2009

Table 19 Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa 2010 2022

Table 20 Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration in South Africa 2002 2018

Table 21 Forecast fixed broadband subscribers in South Africa 2019; 2021; 2023

Table 22 Telkom South Africa broadband subscribers 2003 2017

Table 23 Telkom fixed data traffic 2014 2016

Table 24 DSL subscriptions 2015 2018

Table 25 Telkom South Africa fibre broadband subscribers 2016 2018

Table 26 Telkom South Africa fibre premises passed 2016 2018

Table 27 Telkom South Africa fibre ports by type 2017 2018

Table 28 Fibre broadband subscribers 2013 2018

Table 29 Telkom South Africa WiMAX subscribers 2008 2014

Table 30 Mobile sector revenue 2015 2017

Table 31 Mobile revenue by sector 2015 2017

Table 32 Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa 1999 2009

Table 33 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa 2010 2019

Table 34 Mobile voice traffic 2015 2017

Table 35 SMS traffic 2013 2019

Table 36 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2010 2018

Table 37 Telkom mobile broadband subscribers by type 2015 2018

Table 38 Telkom mobile broadband revenue 2015 2017

Table 39 Telkom mobile data traffic 2015 2018

Table 40 Mobile data traffic 2015 2017

Table 41 Forecast mobile subscribers in South Africa 2019; 2021; 2023

Table 42 Mobile numbers ported 2014 2015

Table 43 Telkom LTE subscribers 2016 2018

Table 44 4G (WiMAX/LTE) population coverage 2012 2017

Table 45 Vodacom South Africa M2M connections 2011 2015

Table 46 M2M connections 2015 2017

Table 47 Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue 2010 2019

Table 48 Vodacom South Africa mobile data subscribers 2013 2018

Table 49 Vodacom South Africa subscribers and market share 2002 2018

Table 50 MTN South Africa subscribers and market share 2002 2018

Table 51 MTN South Africa financial data 2012 2018

Table 52 MTN South Africa mobile ARPU 2013 2018

Table 53 Cell C mobile subscribers 2013 2018

Table 54 Cell C mobile service revenue 2013 2018

Table 55 Cell C financial data 2016 2018

Table 56 Telkom mobile subscribers 2009 2018

Table 57 Telkom prepaid and contract mobile subscribers 2015 2018

Table 58 Telkom mobile financial data 2014 2019

Table 59 Telkom mobile ARPU 2014 2019

Chart 1 Telecom sector revenue by service 2015 2017

Chart 2 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in South Africa 2005 2018

Chart 3 Mobile revenue by sector 2015 2017

Chart 4 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa 2005 2019

Chart 5 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2010 2018

Chart 6 Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue 2010 2019

Chart 7 Telkom mobile ARPU 2014 2019

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Products and Companies

Products

paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, country profile, Broadband Fixed, Broadcasting, Companies (Major Players), Digital Media, Internet, Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Regulations & Government Policies, Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets), Telecoms Infrastructure, Africa, South Africa


Companies

Vodacom, MTN (MTN Network Solutions), Cell C, Telkom (Heita, 8ta), Virgin Mobile, Neotel, Atlantic Internet Services, Business Connexion, Internet Solutions, Verizon Business, MWEB, Vox Telecom (DataPro), Sentech, iBurst (WBS, Blue Label), Liquid Telecom South Africa (Neotel, Tata), Virgin Mobile, Broadband InfraCo, Transtel, Eskom, SEACOM, Transtel, Eskom, SITA, Sentech, Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), FibreCo, eFive, WASACE.

Company Profile

Company Profile Title

South Africa's telecom sector boasts one of the most advanced infrastructures on the continent. There is has been considerable investment from Telkom, Liquid Telecom South Africa, Broadband InfraCo and municipal providers as well as from mobile network operators all aimed at improving network capabilities. The focus in recent years has been on backhaul capacity and on fibre and LTE networks to extend and improve internet service connectivity.

The poor historic availability and level of service of fixed-line networks encouraged the growth of the mobile sector for both voice and data services and this segment continues to command most investment and effort among telcos. Under a converged regulatory regime many alternative service providers have been able to enter the market to offer a range of services. This regime also encouraged the major mobile network operators Vodacom, MTN and Cell C to move into the fixed-line and fibre sector. Proposed amendments to the Communications Act are intended to improve the ability of new entrants to access networks and further develop a competitive market landscape.

Other key regulatory matters aimed at shaping the market include the licensing of LTE spectrum in several bands. A multi-spectrum auction, delayed since late 2016 and which has caused some difficulties for mobile network operators desperately short of spectrum and which have had to rely on spectrum refarming and other measures to increase network capacity, is scheduled for mid-2019.

The broadband market is emerging from many years of slow growth exacerbated by an expensive operating environment created by Telkom's market dominance and its control of access to international bandwidth. Although wireless broadband services have carved out market share from existing DSL offerings, the sector is dominated by mobile networks and despite a growing fixed-line footprint the government's plan to provide national broadband coverage is largely based on mobile technologies.

The mature mobile market has seen rapid growth since competition was introduced to the sector in the 1990s. SIM card penetration is high though is driven partly by the popularity of multiple card use as also by the take-up of mobile broadband services. The major mobile operators have branched into providing mobile banking and mobile entertainment services, while the market entry of a growing number of MVNOs has added to the competitive mix.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

Telkom signs roaming and facilities leasing agreement with MTN;

Delayed spectrum auction rescheduled for April 2019;

Telkom completes Massive MIMO technology trials, aims to decommission 2G infrastructure;

Liquid Telecom South Africa to build a 4G network;

Comsol starts 5G fixed-wireless trials using spectrum in the 28MHz band;

Regulator sets MTRs through to October 2020;

Telkom FttC infrastructure passing close to three million premises;

Cell C extends wholesale fibre partnerships;

MTN acquires Smart Village, expands fibre network reach;

Telkom converts public payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots;

Vumatel extends open-access network offering 1Gb/s services;

South Africa to deploy nine nanosatellites;

Microsoft to build two data centres during 2019;

Telkom reports strong regulator growth in fiscal H1 2019, continues work on the Modderfontein Smart City development;

Vodacom contracts Alcatel-Lucent to build a GPON FttP converged network;

Report update includes the regulators the regulators March 2018 report on the ICT sector, operator data to September 2018, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vodacom, MTN (MTN Network Solutions), Cell C, Telkom (Heita, 8ta), Virgin Mobile, Neotel, Atlantic Internet Services, Business Connexion, Internet Solutions, Verizon Business, MWEB, Vox Telecom (DataPro), Sentech, iBurst (WBS, Blue Label), Liquid Telecom South Africa (Neotel, Tata), Virgin Mobile, Broadband InfraCo, Transtel, Eskom, SEACOM, Transtel, Eskom, SITA, Sentech, Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), FibreCo, eFive, WASACE.

READ MORE

Scope

1 Key statistics

2 Country overview

3 COVID-19 and its impact on the telecom sector

3.1 Economic considerations and responses

3.2 Mobile devices

3.3 Subscribers

3.4 Infrastructure

4 Telecommunications market

4.1 Historical overview

5 Regulatory environment

5.1 Historical overview

5.2 Regulatory authority

5.3 Telecommunications Act

5.4 Telecommunications Amendment Act

5.5 Electronic Communications Acts (2005, 2014)

5.6 Regulation of Interception of Communications Act 2002

5.7 Electronic Communications Act and ICASA Amendment Act

5.8 Converged licensing regime

5.9 New Companies Act

5.10 Universal Service and Access Fund (USAF)

5.11 Interconnection

6 Fixed network operators

6.1 Overview

6.2 Telkom

6.3 Neotel

7 Telecommunications infrastructure

7.1 Overview of the national telecom network

7.2 National fibre infrastructure

7.3 VoIP

7.4 International submarine cables

7.5 Satellite

7.6 Next Generation Networks (NGN)

7.7 Municipal networks

7.8 Data centres

7.9 Smart infrastructure

8 Broadband market

8.1 Introduction and statistical overview

8.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks

8.3 Other fixed broadband services

9 Digital economy

9.1 E-learning

9.2 E-government

9.3 E-health

9.4 E-banking

10 Mobile communications

10.1 Market analysis

10.2 Mobile statistics

10.3 Regulatory issues

10.4 Mobile infrastructure

10.5 Major mobile operators

10.6 Mobile content and applications

11 Related reports

Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities South Africa 2018

Table 2 Telecom sector investment 2015 2017

Table 3 Telecom sector investment by sector 2015 2017

Table 4 Fixed revenue by sector 2015 2017

Table 5 Telecom sector revenue by service 2015 2017

Table 6 Telecom and broadcasting revenue 2015 2017

Table 7 Fixed and mobile telephony access by household 2014 2018

Table 8 Telkom Group financial results 2010 2019

Table 9 Telkom data revenue 2002 2017

Table 10 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in South Africa 2000 2018

Table 11 Fixed-line voice traffic 2015 2018

Table 12 VoIP subscriptions 2015 2017

Table 13 International internet bandwidth 2000 2016

Table 14 National Broadband Policy penetration targets to 2030

Table 15 Average internet access speed 2010 2015

Table 16 Internet revenue 2015 2017

Table 17 Internet revenue by sector 2015 2017

Table 18 Historic-Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa 1999 2009

Table 19 Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa 2010 2022

Table 20 Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration in South Africa 2002 2018

Table 21 Forecast fixed broadband subscribers in South Africa 2019; 2021; 2023

Table 22 Telkom South Africa broadband subscribers 2003 2017

Table 23 Telkom fixed data traffic 2014 2016

Table 24 DSL subscriptions 2015 2018

Table 25 Telkom South Africa fibre broadband subscribers 2016 2018

Table 26 Telkom South Africa fibre premises passed 2016 2018

Table 27 Telkom South Africa fibre ports by type 2017 2018

Table 28 Fibre broadband subscribers 2013 2018

Table 29 Telkom South Africa WiMAX subscribers 2008 2014

Table 30 Mobile sector revenue 2015 2017

Table 31 Mobile revenue by sector 2015 2017

Table 32 Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa 1999 2009

Table 33 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa 2010 2019

Table 34 Mobile voice traffic 2015 2017

Table 35 SMS traffic 2013 2019

Table 36 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2010 2018

Table 37 Telkom mobile broadband subscribers by type 2015 2018

Table 38 Telkom mobile broadband revenue 2015 2017

Table 39 Telkom mobile data traffic 2015 2018

Table 40 Mobile data traffic 2015 2017

Table 41 Forecast mobile subscribers in South Africa 2019; 2021; 2023

Table 42 Mobile numbers ported 2014 2015

Table 43 Telkom LTE subscribers 2016 2018

Table 44 4G (WiMAX/LTE) population coverage 2012 2017

Table 45 Vodacom South Africa M2M connections 2011 2015

Table 46 M2M connections 2015 2017

Table 47 Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue 2010 2019

Table 48 Vodacom South Africa mobile data subscribers 2013 2018

Table 49 Vodacom South Africa subscribers and market share 2002 2018

Table 50 MTN South Africa subscribers and market share 2002 2018

Table 51 MTN South Africa financial data 2012 2018

Table 52 MTN South Africa mobile ARPU 2013 2018

Table 53 Cell C mobile subscribers 2013 2018

Table 54 Cell C mobile service revenue 2013 2018

Table 55 Cell C financial data 2016 2018

Table 56 Telkom mobile subscribers 2009 2018

Table 57 Telkom prepaid and contract mobile subscribers 2015 2018

Table 58 Telkom mobile financial data 2014 2019

Table 59 Telkom mobile ARPU 2014 2019

Chart 1 Telecom sector revenue by service 2015 2017

Chart 2 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in South Africa 2005 2018

Chart 3 Mobile revenue by sector 2015 2017

Chart 4 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa 2005 2019

Chart 5 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2010 2018

Chart 6 Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue 2010 2019

Chart 7 Telkom mobile ARPU 2014 2019

• Single User Licences (for access by one person),
• 10 User Licences (for access for up to 10 Users),
• 20 User Licences (for access for up to 20 Users), and
• Site Licences (allow access by all staff within the country of purchase).

To know more information on Purchase by Section, please send a mail to support@kenresearch.com

INQUIRE FOR COVID-19 IMPACT ANALYSIS

Products

paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, country profile, Broadband Fixed, Broadcasting, Companies (Major Players), Digital Media, Internet, Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Regulations & Government Policies, Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets), Telecoms Infrastructure, Africa, South Africa


Companies

Vodacom, MTN (MTN Network Solutions), Cell C, Telkom (Heita, 8ta), Virgin Mobile, Neotel, Atlantic Internet Services, Business Connexion, Internet Solutions, Verizon Business, MWEB, Vox Telecom (DataPro), Sentech, iBurst (WBS, Blue Label), Liquid Telecom South Africa (Neotel, Tata), Virgin Mobile, Broadband InfraCo, Transtel, Eskom, SEACOM, Transtel, Eskom, SITA, Sentech, Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), FibreCo, eFive, WASACE.