Sudan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

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

Table of Contents

  • 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. Broadband 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)
    • 7.4 Broadband Infrastructure
      • 7.4.1 ADSL
      • 7.4.2 EV-DO
      • 7.4.3 WiMAX
      • 7.4.4 Broadband via satellite
      • 7.4.5 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • 8. Mobile communications
    • 8.1 Overview of mobile market
    • 8.2 SIM card registration
    • 8.3 Statistics
      • 8.3.1 Subscriber statistics
      • 8.3.2 SMS and MMS statistics
      • 8.3.3 Mobile broadband statistics
    • 8.4 Major mobile operators
      • 8.4.1 Zain Sudan
      • 8.4.2 MTN Sudan (Bashair Telecom, Investcom/Areeba)
      • 8.4.3 Sudani (Sudatel)
    • 8.5 Mobile infrastructure
      • 8.5.1 Third generation (3G)
      • 8.5.2 GPRS and EDGE
      • 8.5.3 HSPA
      • 8.5.4 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
      • 8.5.5 Satellite mobile
    • 8.6 Mobile content and applications
      • 8.6.1 Mobile money transfer
  • 9. 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 9 – Sudatel financial data – 2011 – 2012
  • Table 10 – Sudatel fixed-lines in service – 2011 – 2012
  • Table 11 – Canar Home pricing – 2013
  • Table 12 – Canar fixed-lines in service – 2011 - 2012
  • Table 13 – International bandwidth – 2004 - 2014
  • 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 17 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1996 - 2004
  • Table 18 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2015
  • Table 19 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2011- 2013
  • Table 20 – SMS traffic – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 21 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 22 – Zain Sudan subscribers and ARPU – 2003 - 2015
  • Table 23 – Zain Sudan financial data ($).– 2013 - 2015
  • Table 24 – MTN Sudan subscribers and ARPU – 2006 - 2014
  • Table 25 – MTN Sudan financial data – 2013 - 2014
  • Table 26 –Sudani mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 27 – Sudani mobile internet pricing – Dec 2013
  • 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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