For many years South Africa’s broadband market was held back by an expensive operating environment created by Telkom’s dominance in the fixed-line market and in access to international bandwidth. This has begun to change, supported by the licensing of Neotel as a second fixed-line operator, as also by the involvement of mobile network operators such as Vodacom and Cell C in the fibre market. Wireless broadband services have carved out market share from existing DSL offerings, though the sector is dominated by mobile networks: about 97% of all internet connections are through mobile networks. Despite a growing footprint, the government plan to provide national broadband coverage will largely be based on mobile technologies.
The landing of international submarine cables since 2009 has brought down the cost of international bandwidth dramatically, and so led to lower end-user pricing. An additional cable with terabit capacity will come on stream during 2017. Previously, Telkom monopolised access to the only major cable serving the country, and so was able to demand very high access prices.
Internet Solutions makes bid to acquire MWEB Connect; MTN acquires Smart Village, expands fibre network reach, increases investment in fibre infrastructure by 170% in H12017; Afrihost launches FttP services over Vumatel’s open-access fibre infrastructure; Cell C pilots FttP service; Department of Telecommunications allocates ZAR1.4 billion to pursue broadband initiatives; Multisource acquires WBS; Neotel halves price of fibre broadband; cost of international fibre bandwidth reduced following end of monopoly; LLU creates new opportunities for fixed broadband players; Google tests wireless broadband using ‘White Space’ spectrum; Telkom to convert public payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots; MTN connects first customers to its FttP network; MWEB launches Fon-enabled Wi-Fi routers; Vumatel extends open-access network offering 1Gb/s services.
Telkom, Neotel, Vodacom, MTN Network Solutions, Cell C, Atlantic Internet Services, Business Connexion, Internet Solutions, Verizon Business, MWEB, Vox Telecom (DataPro), Sentech, iBurst (WBS, Blue Label).
Companies (Major Players)
Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Regulations & Government Policies
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Number of pages 23
Last updated 9 Jan 2017
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
Paul has been a relentless advocate and tireless activist for making the world a more connected place.
His passion for broadband and his firm belief in its transformational impact on societies across the globe is unrivalled.
I am honoured to call Paul a friend and I trust he will keep up the fight for better broadband and better access to broadband for all people, wherever they live and whatever their background, into the future.
Senator Stephen Conroy, former Communications Minister and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
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