Revised Telecom Act aimed at encouraging access to telecom infrastructure
This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Mozambique’s telecommunications market. Subjects covered include:
- One of the highest growth potential telecom markets in Africa;
- Key statistics;
- Market and industry overviews;
- Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
- Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
- The impact of the global economic crisis;
- Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPO, acquisitions, new licences;
- Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
- Infrastructure development;
- Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;
- Average revenue per user trends and analysis;
- Internet and broadband development and pricing;
- The impact of the country’s first international submarine fibre optic cables;
- Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).
During the last two decades Mozambique’s economy has shown consistently strong growth. The country’s GDP was largely unaffected by the global economic crisis which has lingered for many economies since 2008. GDP growth ran at 7.3% in 2010 and is expected to increase to 8.4% for 2013.
The country was one of the first in the region to reform its telecom sector, which immediately followed the long civil war which ended in 1992. The mobile sector has experienced excellent growth rates since the introduction of competition in 2003 between Vodacom Mozambique and mCel, the incumbent mobile subsidiary of the national telco TDM. Given that mobile market penetration remains far below the African average, there is considerable room for further growth. This has been stimulated by the launch of commercial services from the third operator Movitel, which is backed by Vietnam’s Viettel.
The government in 2013 drafted a revision of the 2004 Telecommunications Act, aimed at developing greater competition, and facilitating access to networks and infrastructure in a bid to reduce investment costs.
The mobile sector has grown rapidly in view of the poor fixed-line infrastructure, which has largely held back the market for internet services. The high cost of international bandwidth had long hampered internet use given the relatively high cost of access, though the landing of two international submarine fibre optic cables (Seacom and EASSy) has reduced the cost of bandwidth and so led to drastic reductions in broadband retail prices.
Cross-platform competition, with active ADSL, cable broadband, WiMAX, 3G mobile and limited Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) services, is also helping the market to develop. Further improvements can be expected from the ongoing rollout of a national fibre backbone networks by TDM and the mobile operators.
Estimated market penetration rates in Mozambique’s telecoms sector – end-2013
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)
Mobile Termination Rates reduced by 20% in early 2013; stable mobile ARPU despite increased competition; fibre optic backbone network rollouts; developments in ADSL, Vodacom signs deal with Electricidade de Mocambique to market pre-paid top-up cards for electricity via the M-Pesa service; cable TV, WiMAX, EV-DO, 3G mobile; operator data to mid-2013, market developments to March 2014.
Companies covered in this report:
Telecomunicações De Moçambique (TDM); Vodacom Mozambique; mCel (TDM); Movitel (Viettel); Teledata (TDM); TV Cabo; Intra; Tropical Web, Seacom.