South Africa - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in South Africa’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major players, revenue, subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, videostreaming;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • Mobile subscriber forecasts;
  • Mobile market forecasts for selective years to 2021.
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE).

Reseracher: Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- October 2016 (14th Edition)

Executive Summary

South Africa’s telecom regulator seeks ZAR100 billion for ICT projects

South Africa’s telecom sector boasts one of the continent’s most advanced networks in terms of technology deployed and services provided. Nevertheless, the fixed-line infrastructure for many years suffered from under-investment by the monopoly incumbent Telkom. The poor level of service encouraged the growth of the mobile sector for the provision of voice and data services. As a result, the mobile sector has become a key driver of the overall market. As well as carrying most voice traffic, mobile networks account for 97% of all internet connections.

Under a converging regulatory regime, hundreds of alternative service providers have been able to enter the market to offer a range of services, while the main mobile operators Vodacom, MTN and Cell C have invested heavily in their own backhaul fibre as well as on consumer services based on FttP. In addition, many municipalities, including the country’s largest cities, are implementing their own metropolitan fibre and wireless broadband networks.

The end of Telkom’s monopoly on international submarine fibre optic cables also reduced the cost of telecom services dramatically. A new cable, expected to come online in 2017, with further increase international bandwidth and so improve services generally.

A notable regulatory matter currently shaping the market include mergers and acquisitions, the licensing of LTE spectrum anticipated in early 2017, progress with the transition to digital broadcasting and the reassignment of digital dividend spectrum for mobile broadband use, the unbundling of the local loop (ULL, or LLU), and the reduction of interconnect charges.

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 2016 was approaching 160%, driven partly by the popularity of multiple card use as also by the popular take-up of mobile broadband services. LTE services will be bolstered by the 2017 auction of additional spectrum in several bands. These services will go far to realising the government’s ambitious broadband connectivity program to 2030.

Key developments:

  • Regulator seeks to raise ZAR100 billion for ICT projects by increasing USAF levy to 1% of operator revenue;
  • Vox Telecom planning national long-distance fibre network in eastern areas;
  • Liquid Telecom acquires Neotel for ZAR6.55 billion;
  • Work begins on the Modderfontein Smart city development;
  • Vodacom contracts Alcatel-Lucent to build a GPON FttP converged network.
  • Department of Telecommunications allocates ZAR1.4 billion to pursue broadband initiatives;
  • Multisource acquires WBS;
  • Vumatel extends open-access network offering 1Gb/s services.
  • Regulator forced to push back LTE spectrum auction to May 2017;
  • Vodacom and MTN trial LTE-Unlicensed services;
  • Vodacom and MTN end mobile money services in South Africa;
  • Cell C launches commercial LTE-A services;
  • Revised MTRs set to September 2017;
  • SMS platform facing stiffening competition from WhatsApp and other OTT services;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s 2015 market report, telcos’ operational and financial data to Q2 2016, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Telkom, Neotel, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Virgin Mobile, Broadband InfraCo, Transtel, Eskom, SEACOM, SITA, Sentech, Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), Internet Solutions, FibreCo, eFive, WASACE, Network Solutions, Atlantic Internet Services, Business Connexion, Verizon Business, MWEB, Vox Telecom (DataPro), Sentech, iBurst (WBS, Blue Label), MultiChoice, Goal Technology Solutions (GTS), SmartVillage, Storm Telecom, Orbicom, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), MXit, Naspers, Media24, Standard Bank, First National Bank, ABSA, Nedbank, Barclays Bank.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Historical overview
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Historical overview
    • 3.2 Network rollout obligations
    • 3.3 Regulatory authority
    • 3.4 Telecommunications Amendment Act
    • 3.5 Regulation of Interception of Communications Act 2002
    • 3.6 Electronic Communications Act and ICASA Amendment Act
    • 3.7 Converged licensing regime
    • 3.8 New Companies Act
    • 3.9 Universal Service and Access Fund (USAF)
    • 3.10 Interconnection
    • 3.11 Registration of subscriber details
    • 3.12 Telecom sector liberalisation
      • 3.12.1 Overview
      • 3.12.2 Privatisation of Telkom
      • 3.12.3 PTN licences
      • 3.12.4 The ‘Big Bang’
      • 3.12.5 Under-Serviced Area Licences (USALs)
      • 3.12.6 InfraCo licences
      • 3.12.7 Number Portability (NP)
      • 3.12.8 Carrier pre-selection (CPS)
      • 3.12.9 Local Loop Unbundling (LLU)
      • 3.12.10 International gateways
      • 3.12.11 Least Cost Routing (LCR)
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Telkom
    • 4.2 Neotel
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 5.2 National fibre infrastructure
      • 5.2.1 Broadband InfraCo
      • 5.2.2 Dark Fibre Africa
      • 5.2.3 FibreCo
    • 5.3 International submarine cables
    • 5.4 Satellite
    • 5.5 Next Generation Networks (NGN)
    • 5.6 Municipal networks
      • 5.6.1 Knysna – Africa’s first municipal network
      • 5.6.2 City of Tshwane
      • 5.6.3 City of Johannesburg
      • 5.6.4 Ekurhuleni (East Rand)
      • 5.6.5 City of Cape Town
      • 5.6.6 eThekwini (Durban)
      • 5.6.7 Gauteng Link
    • 5.7 Data centres
    • 5.8 Smart infrastructure
      • 5.8.1 Smart cities
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 6.1.1 Market analysis
      • 6.1.2 Community access projects
      • 6.1.3 Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA)
      • 6.1.4 Internet Exchange Points (IXP)
      • 6.1.5 Broadband statistics
      • 6.1.6 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
    • 6.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 6.2.1 Introduction
      • 6.2.2 Wholesale
      • 6.2.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
    • 6.3 Other fixed broadband services
      • 6.3.1 Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)
      • 6.3.2 Fixed wireless
  • 7. Digital media
    • 7.1 Digital TV
      • 7.1.1 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT)
      • 7.1.2 Digital satellite TV
      • 7.1.3 High Definition TV (HDTV)
    • 7.2 Videostreaming
    • 7.3 Interactive TV (iTV)
      • 7.3.1 MultiChoice iTV
    • 7.4 Online radio
    • 7.5 Online retail
    • 7.6 Online gambling
    • 7.7 Social media
    • 7.8 E-books, Mobizines
    • 7.9 Broadcasting licences
    • 7.10 Broadcast signal distributors
      • 7.10.1 Background
      • 7.10.2 Sentech
      • 7.10.3 Orbicom
      • 7.10.4 Communications: VoiP
      • 7.10.5 Cloud services
  • 8. Digital economy
    • 8.1 E-learning
    • 8.2 E-government
    • 8.3 E-health
    • 8.4 E-banking
    • 8.5 Call centres
  • 9. Mobile communications
    • 9.1 Market analysis
    • 9.2 Mobile statistics
      • 9.2.1 General statistics
      • 9.2.2 Mobile voice (VoLTE/Wi-Fi calling
      • 9.2.3 Mobile data
      • 9.2.4 Mobile broadband
      • 9.2.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
    • 9.3 Regulatory issues
      • 9.3.1 Spectrum
      • 9.3.2 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • 9.3.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 9.3.4 International gateways
      • 9.3.5 SIM card registration
      • 9.3.6 Quality of service (QoS)
      • 9.3.7 Market liberalisation and licence obligations
      • 9.3.8 Community service telephones (CST)
      • 9.3.9 Infrastructure sharing
    • 9.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.4.1 Digital networks
      • 9.4.2 Other infrastructure developments
      • 9.4.3 M2M networks
    • 9.5 Major mobile operators
      • 9.5.1 Vodacom South Africa
      • 9.5.2 MTN South Africa
      • 9.5.3 Cell C
      • 9.5.4 Telkom Mobile (8ta)
      • 9.5.5 Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs)
      • 9.5.6 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 9.6 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.6.1 Push-to-Talk (PTT)
      • 9.6.2 Mobile TV
      • 9.6.3 Mobile music
      • 9.6.4 CellBook
      • 9.6.5 m-banking
      • 9.6.6 m-money
      • 9.6.7 m-commerce
      • 9.6.8 m-gaming
      • 9.6.9 m-health
      • 9.6.10 Mobile advertising
      • 9.6.11 Location-based services (LBS)
      • 9.6.12 Manobi
      • 9.6.13 Mobile social media
    • 9.7 Mobile handsets
    • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2016
    • Table 4 – Internet and broadband statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
    • Table 7 – Telecom sector value added revenue and contribution to GDP – 2010 - 2015
    • Table 8 – Telecom sector investment – 2015
    • Table 9 – Telecom sector retail revenue by service – 2015
    • Table 10 – Telkom principal shareholders – March 2016
    • Table 11 – Telkom Group financial results – 2008; 2009 - 2016
    • Table 12 – Telkom - fixed line data revenue and annual change – 2002 - 2016
    • Table 13 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in South Africa – 2000 - 2017
    • Table 14 – South Africa’s international internet bandwidth – 2000 - 2015
    • Table 15 – National Broadband Policy penetration targets to 2030
    • Table 16 – Average internet access speed – 2010 - 2015
    • Table 17 – Internet revenue by sector – 2015
    • Table 18 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 19 – Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 20 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration in South Africa – 2002 - 2016
    • Table 21 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers in South Africa – 2015; 2018; 2021
    • Table 22 – Telkom South Africa DSL subscribers – 2003 - 2016
    • Table 23 – Telkom South Africa residential ADSL tariffs – 2016
    • Table 24 – Telkom DSL subscribers – 2013 - 2016
    • Table 25 – Telkom South Africa WiMAX subscribers – 2008 - 2014
    • Table 26 – Mobile revenue by sector – 2015
    • Table 27 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 28 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 29 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2015
    • Table 30 – Forecast mobile subscribers in South Africa – 2015; 2018; 2021
    • Table 31 – Vodacom South Africa M2M connections – 2011 - 2015
    • Table 32 – Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue – 2010 - 2016
    • Table 33 – Vodacom South Africa subscribers and market share – 2002 - 2016
    • Table 34 – Vodacom South Africa mobile data subscribers – 2013 - 2016
    • Table 35 – Vodacom South Africa key statistics – 2014 - 2016
    • Table 36 – MTN South Africa subscribers and market share – 2002 - 2016
    • Table 37 – MTN South Africa financial data – 2012 - 2016
    • Table 38 – MTN South Africa key statistics – quarter ended June 2016
    • Table 39 – Cell C mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2015
    • Table 40 – Telkom mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2016
    • Table 41 – Telkom mobile financial data – 2014 - 2016
    • Table 42 – Telkom mobile ARPU – 2014 - 2016
    • Table 43 – Telkom fixed and mobile data traffic – 2014 - 2016
    • Table 44 – Vodacom South Africa active data devices by type – 2012 – 2014
    • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in South Africa – 2005 - 2017
    • Chart 2 – Internet users and penetration rate in South Africa – 2005 - 2017
    • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa – 2005 - 2017
    • Chart 4 – Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue – 2010 – 2016
    • Exhibit 1 – Large ISPA members
    • Exhibit 2 – Spotlight on Vodacom GSM community payphones

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