South Africa - Fixed Broadband Market - Statistics and Analyses


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.

Key developments:

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.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Introduction and statistical overview
    • 2.1 Market analysis
    • 2.2 Community access projects
      • 2.2.1 Microsoft Digital Villages and telecentres
      • 2.2.2 The Smart Cape Access Project
    • 2.3 Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA)
    • 2.4 Internet Exchange Points (IXP)
    • 2.5 Broadband statistics
    • 2.6 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
      • 3. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
        • 3.1 Introduction
        • 3.2 Wholesale
          • 3.2.1 ADSL2+
          • 3.2.2 VDSL
        • 3.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • 4. Other fixed broadband services
        • 4.1 Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)
        • 4.2 Fixed wireless
          • 4.2.1 Wi-Fi/WiMAX
          • 4.2.2 Wireless Access Providers Association (WAPA)
          • 4.2.3 iBurst (WBS, Blue Label)
          • 4.2.4 White Space spectrum
      • 5. Related reports
      • Table 1 – National Broadband Policy penetration targets to 2030
      • Table 2 – Average internet access speed – 2010 - 2015
      • Table 3 – Internet revenue by sector – 2015
      • Table 4 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa – 1999 - 2009
      • Table 5 – Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 6 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration in South Africa – 2002 - 2016
      • Table 7 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers in South Africa – 2015; 2018; 2021
      • Table 8 – Telkom South Africa broadband subscribers – 2003 - 2016
      • Table 9 – Telkom South Africa residential ADSL tariffs – 2016
      • Table 10 – Telkom South Africa WiMAX subscribers – 2008 - 2014
      • Chart 1 – Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa – 2005 - 2017
      • Exhibit 1 – Large ISPA members

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