Sudan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Sudan’s Sudatel invests $267 million in infrastructure to 2020

Sudan makes up the northern part of a country which in 2011 was separated to form the new state of South Sudan. Three quarters of the former population live in the north, where mobile market penetration is far higher. The country has a relatively well-equipped telecommunications infrastructure by regional standards, including a national fibre optic backbone and international fibre connections.

The economy has performed poorly in recent years, partly due to the effects of having lost much of its oil reserves to South Sudan and partly due to domestic volatility and social unrest. This has hindered the ability of operators to develop revenue from services and sufficiently invest in infrastructure upgrades. Sudatel during 2016 has invested in rural tower infrastructure to improve connectivity, though such measures remain far below what is required.

The national telco, Sudatel, was privatised more than a decade ago, with major shares and management control now held by Etisalat of the UAE and by Qatar Telecom. It is also listed on several regional stock exchanges. The company presided over the world’s fastest growing fixed-line market until it started substituting traditional copper lines with CDMA2000 fixed-wireless access in 2005.

Competition in the fixed-line market comes from Canar Telecom, which was also majority-owned by Etisalat until Etisalat sold its 92.3% interest to the Bank of Khartoum in mid-2016. The operator also opted for CDMA2000 technology to cost effectively roll out fixed services and, like Sudatel, offers wireless broadband services through this network, having upgraded to the EV-DO standard.

Key developments:

  • Emirates sells its 92.3% stake in Canar Telecom;
  • Sudatel announces $267 million investment plan to 2020, contracts to build mobile towers in rural areas;
  • MTN Sudan launches HSPA+ services;
  • Zain Sudan launches LTE services;
  • Higher telecom taxes impact on sector growth; telecom networks separated between North and South Sudan;
  • Canar Telecom sees a continuing decline in its fixed-line market share;
  • Regulator concludes its SIM registration project;
  • Upgrade to EASSy cable enabling 10Tb/s;
  • Report update includes operator data to Q2 2016, recent market developments.

Market penetration rates in Sudan’s telecoms sector – 2016 (e)

Market Penetration rate
Fixed-line telephony 0.3%
Internet users 32%
Mobile SIM (population) 77%

(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies mentioned in this report:

Zain Sudan, MTN Sudan, Sudatel, Sudani, Canar Telecom (Canartel), SudaNet, ZinaNet, Thuraya

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market analysis
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Regulatory authority
    • 5.2 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 5.3 Universal service fund
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 Sudatel
      • 6.1.1 Privatisation
    • 6.2 Canartel (Canar Telecom)
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
      • 7.1.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • 7.1.2 Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)
      • 7.1.3 National fibre backbone
    • 7.2 International infrastructure
      • 7.2.1 Submarine fibre
      • 7.2.2 Terrestrial fibre
      • 7.2.3 The Central African Backbone (CAB)
  • 8. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 8.2 Sudan Internet Society (SiS)
    • 8.3 Broadband statistics
    • 8.4 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 8.4.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 8.4.2 Other fixed broadband services
  • 9. Mobile market
    • 9.1 Market analysis
    • 9.2 Mobile statistics
    • 9.3 Mobile data
      • 9.3.1 SMS and MMS
    • 9.4 Mobile broadband
    • 9.5 Regulatory issues
      • 9.5.1 SIM card registration
    • 9.6 Major mobile operators
      • 9.6.1 Zain Sudan
      • 9.6.2 MTN Sudan (Bashair Telecom, Investcom/Areeba)
      • 9.6.3 Sudani (Sudatel)
    • 9.7 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.7.1 Digital networks
      • 9.7.2 Other infrastructure developments
    • 9.8 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.8.1 Mobile money
  • 10. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Sudan – 2015
  • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2016
  • Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2015
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 7 – Sudatel financial data – 2008 – 2014
  • Table 8 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and penetration – 1993 – 2009
  • Table 9 – Fixed lines in service and penetration – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 10 – International bandwidth – 2004 - 2015
  • Table 11 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1997 - 2009
  • Table 12 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 13 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2004 – 2017
  • Table 14 – DSL subscribers – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 15 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1996 - 2009
  • Table 16 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 17 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 18 – SMS traffic – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 19 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 20 – Zain Sudan subscribers and ARPU – 2003 - 2016
  • Table 21 – Zain Sudan financial data ($) – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 22 – Zain Sudan financial data (KD) – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 23 – MTN Sudan subscribers and ARPU – 2006 - 2016
  • Table 24 – MTN Sudan financial data – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 25 –Sudani mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2016
  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2017
  • Chart 2 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 – 2016
  • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 – 2016

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