Third mobile network benefits from low market penetration in Mozambique

Two decades of peace and radical reforms have transformed Mozambique into one of the fastest and most consistently growing economies in the world. It escaped the global economic crisis with barely a dent in its annual GDP growth which is expected to stay above 7%.

The country was one of the first in the region to reform its telecommunications landscape, immediately after a long civil war ended in 1992. The mobile sub-sector has experienced excellent growth rates following the introduction of competition in 2003 between Vodacom Mozambique and mCel, the incumbent mobile subsidiary of the national telco, TDM. However, market penetration is still well below the African average. A third network backed by Vietnam’s Viettel, Movitel entered the market in 2011.

The government is intent on introducing competition to the fixed-line sector as well, but it is hesitating to privatise TDM. All other services are open to competition, subject to licensing by the industry regulator, INCM.

Internet usage in the country has been hampered by the inadequate fixed-line infrastructure and the high cost of international bandwidth, but this market sector is now accelerating following the introduction of various kinds of broadband services including ADSL, HFC cable modems, WiMAX, 3G mobile and even Fibre to the Home (FttH). The landing of two international submarine fibre optic cables in the country (Seacom and EASSy) has lowered the cost of bandwidth which has already led to drastic reductions in broadband retail prices. Further improvements can be expected from the ongoing rollout of a national fibre backbone networks by TDM and the mobile operators.

Market highlights:

  • Third mobile network benefits from low penetration rate;
  • Strong ARPU performance despite increased competition;
  • Fibre optic backbone network rollouts;
  • Pricing comparison of all major broadband services (ADSL, cable TV, WiMAX, EV-DO, 3G mobile);
  • Analysis of broadband price changes due to international fibre.

Estimated market penetration rates in Mozambique’s telecoms sector – end 2013

Market

Penetration rate

Mobile 49%
Fixed 0.4%
Internet 7.4%

(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see:

Mozambique – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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