South Africa - Mobile Infrastructure, Operators and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

South Africa’s mature mobile market has seen rapid growth since competition was introduced to the sector in the 1990s. SIM card penetration by late 2017 was approaching 143%, driven partly by the popularity of multiple card use as also by the take-up of mobile broadband services. Mobile internet accounts for about 95% of all internet connections, and with about 94% of the population able to access WiMAX/LTE services this sector will continue to see strong growth in coming years.

While the major mobile operators have become the country’s leading broadband providers, they have also branched out into providing fixed services, fibre backbone networks, international fibre connectivity, mobile banking and mobile entertainment in a rapidly converging environment. The fixed-line incumbent Telkom has reacted to these market dynamics by launching its own mobile network. Several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) have entered the market, adding to the competitive mix.

Key developments:

Regulator to conduct mobile data pricing study, ready for March 2018; Comsol announces 5G fixed-wireless trials using spectrum in the 28MHz band; MTN trials LTE-LAA network providing data at over 400Mb/s; regulator forced to push back LTE spectrum auction until further notice; Vodacom and MTN trial LTE-Unlicensed services; regulator extends MTRs until September 2018; Rain launches LTE-A network; Telkom re-farms 1.8GHz allocation for LTE services; Vodacom ends M-Pesa service in South Africa; Cell C launches commercial LTE-A services; Nashua Mobile winds down, sells subscriber base to Vodacom and MTN; Afrihost launches fixed-wireless LTE services; report update includes the regulator’s 2016/17 report, the regulator’s March 2017 report on the ICT sector, operator data to March 2017.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom (Heita, 8ta), Virgin Mobile.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 General statistics
    • 3.2 Mobile voice (VoLTE/Wi-Fi calling
    • 3.3 Mobile data
      • 3.3.1 SMS
      • 3.3.2 MMS
    • 3.4 Mobile broadband
    • 3.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
  • 4. Regulatory issues
    • 4.1 Spectrum
      • 4.1.1 LTE, WiMAX (800MHz, 2.6 and 3.5GHz)
      • 4.1.2 2GHz
      • 4.1.3 800MHz
      • 4.1.4 Multi-spectrum auction 2017
    • 4.2 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
    • 4.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 4.4 SIM card registration
    • 4.5 Infrastructure sharing
    • 4.6 Roaming
  • 5. Mobile infrastructure
    • 5.1 Digital networks
      • 5.1.1 GSM
      • 5.1.2 3G
      • 5.1.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
      • 5.1.4 5G developments
    • 5.2 M2M networks
  • 6. Major mobile operators
    • 6.1 Vodacom South Africa
    • 6.2 MTN South Africa
    • 6.3 Cell C
    • 6.4 Telkom Mobile
    • 6.5 Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs)
    • 6.6 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
  • 7. Mobile content and applications
    • 7.1 Mobile music
    • 7.2 CellBook
    • 7.3 m-banking
    • 7.4 m-gaming
    • 7.5 m-health
    • 7.6 Mobile advertising
    • 7.7 Location-based services (LBS)
    • 7.8 Manobi
    • 7.9 Mobile social media
  • 8. Related reports
  • Table 1 –Mobile sector revenue – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 2 – Mobile revenue by sector – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 3 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 4 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 5 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 6 – Telkom mobile broadband subscribers by type – 2015 - 2017
  • Table 7 – Telkom mobile broadband revenue – 2015 - 2017
  • Table 8 – Telkom mobile data traffic – 2015 - 2017
  • Table 9 – Forecast mobile subscribers in South Africa – 2018; 2020; 2022
  • Table 10 – Mobile numbers ported – 2014 - 2015
  • Table 11 – 4G (WiMAX/LTE) population coverage – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 12 – Vodacom South Africa M2M connections – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 13 – Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 14 – Vodacom South Africa subscribers and market share – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 15 – Vodacom South Africa mobile data subscribers – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 16 – MTN South Africa subscribers and market share – 2002 - 2017
  • Table 17 – MTN South Africa financial data – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 18 – MTN South Africa mobile ARPU – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 19 – Cell C registered mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 20 – Telkom mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2017
  • Table 21 – Telkom prepaid and contract mobile subscribers – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 22 – Telkom mobile financial data – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 23 – Telkom mobile ARPU – 2014 - 2017
  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa – 2005 - 2018
  • Chart 2 – Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue – 2010 – 2017

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