Mozambique Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Publication Date: April 2024

Report Pages: 135

OneWeb and Starlink extend satellite broadband to Mozambique

Mozambique was one of the first countries in the region to embark upon telecom reform and to open the sector to competition. The mobile segment in particular has shown strong growth since the launch of services by Vodacom Mozambique to compete against mCel, the then mobile subsidiary of the national telco Telecomunicações de Moçambique. Additional competition followed in late 2020 with the launch of services by Movitel.

Following years of poor management and underachievement, TdM and mCel were merged in early 2019, creating a new operator Mozambique Telecom (Tmcel). In the process, the structure of the market changed from having four operators (TdM, mCel, Vodafone Mozambique, and Movitel) to three (Tmcel, Vodafone Mozambique, and Movitel). At the same time, a new licensing regime ensured that by mid-2019 all three operators had been provided with universal licenses, enabling them to offer all types of telephony and data services.

Although Tmcel launched the second phase of a network modernisation program, the company’s dire financial condition calls into question the viability of its long-term plan to develop network infrastructure sufficient to compete effectively with Vodacom and Movitel. Not only did the state in April 2023 take over the day-to-day running of the company but it has also recommended selling most of the company’s assets as it seeks a strategic partner to help manage operations.

In recent years the government has enforced the registration of SIM cards, but with varying success. At the end of 2016 almost five million unregistered SIM cards were deactivated but poor monitoring meant that the process was revisited in mid-2019, in late 2020, and again in April 2023, this time supported by legislative amendments.

The high cost of international bandwidth had long hampered internet use, though the landing of two international submarine cables (SEACOM and EASSy) has reduced the cost of bandwidth and so led to drastic reductions in broadband retail prices as well as a significant jump in available bandwidth. The process of interconnection has also been facilitated by the opening of the country’s first Tier III data centre in early 2023.

There is some cross-platform competition, with DSL, cable, fibre, WiMAX, and mobile broadband options available, though fixed broadband options can be limited to urban areas.

Key developments:

  • Dimension Data Mozambique extends its satellite service to Mozambique using OneWeb’s constellation of 648 LEO satellites.
  • Vodacom Mozambique launches the first commercial 5G services in the country.
  • Mozambique Telecom progresses with the second phase of its network modernisation program.
  • Raxio Group completes its Tier-III carrier-neutral colocation data centre in Maputo.
  • Telecom regulator implements revised SIM card and mobile device registration scheme to tackle fraud.
  • Starlink launches satellite broadband services in Mozambique.
  • Government intends to install free Wi-Fi internet access in all districts of the country by 2024.
  • Mozambique state takes control of day-to-day running of Mozambique Telecom, seeks a strategic partner to help manage the company’s operations.
  • Telecom regulator signs cooperation agreement with the Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM), to manage spectrum and standardization, and jointly develop their ICT sectors.
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data updates to 2021, operator data updates to June 2023, ITU market data updates, updated Telecom Maturity Index tables, charts, and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Mozambique Telecom (Telecomunicações De Moçambique, mCel), Vodacom Mozambique, Movitel (Viettel), Teledata, TV Cabo, Intra, Tropical Web, SEACOM

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