LTE services launched, facilitating mobile broadband
This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Mauritius’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 FttC and FttH;
- Mobile voice and data markets;
- Internet and broadband development, including IPTV, triple play;
- Broadband pricing trends, including 3G mobile;
- Digital media (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).
The island nation of Mauritius has one of the most advanced telecom sectors in Africa. It has been innovative in a number of areas, being the first market in Africa to launch cellular systems (in 1989), the first to provide commercial 3G mobile service (2004), the first in the world to develop a nationwide WiMAX wireless broadband network (2005), and one of the first in Africa’ to launch IPTV services (2006). 4G services based on LTE have also been launched, providing data at up to 100Mb/s.
With strong tourism and financial services sectors, Mauritius’s economy is expected to continue growing at more than 4% per year.
The incumbent telco, Mauritius Telecom has been partially privatised and now benefits from the scale and technical prowess of France telecom/Orange, which holds a 40% interest in the operator. All sectors of the market are open to competition. Served by a modern, digital fixed-line network, fibre optic submarine cables for international connectivity, three mobile networks, a number of broadband and other service providers, Mauritius is successfully pursuing a policy to make telecommunications the fifth pillar of its economy and to become a regional telecom hub with Singapore as a role model. The government has been active in promoting its national broadband policy, and also been instrumental in securing infrastructure upgrades, including an upgrade for satellite connectivity to Rodrigues, which became operational in mid-2013.
At around 121% penetration, the mobile market is migrating from an emphasis on voice to data services. There are three GSM networks – Orange (Mauritius Telecom in partnership with France Telecom), Emtel (operated by Millicom International) and Mahanagar, a subsidiary of India's MTNL which is also the island's second fixed-line operator using CDMA2000 technology.
The highest growth rates are currently seen in the mobile broadband sector, where HSPA and EV-DO based 3G services are competing with fixed-line DSL and other wireless broadband offerings, including WiMAX. FttC and FttH rollouts are in progress and have already brought 100Mb/s connections to businesses, with nearly nationwide coverage planned for 2015. The landing of a second international submarine fibre optic cable has brought prices down further in a broadband market that was already one of Africa’s most developed.
- One of the highest levels of market penetration in Africa;
- 4G services launched;
- Further price cuts in DSL and mobile broadband;
- Nationwide FttH coverage providing 100Mb/s services planned for 2020;
- Estimates for mobile, fixed-line and internet market to end-2014;
- Mobile market forecasts to 2016;
- Profiles of major players in all market sectors.
Estimated market penetration rates in Mauritius’s telecoms sector – end-2013
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)
Companies covered in this report:
- Mauritius Telecom (France Telecom, Orange);
- Mahanagar Telephone (Mauritius) Ltd (MTNL);
- Emtel (Millicom);
- Bharat Telecom;
- Network Plus;
- DCL Internet;
- Outremer Telecom.