Frost & Sullivan Research Service   Published: 30 Mar 2012
Southern Africa Mobile Communications Market Tracker
   Title text

This Frost & Sullivan research service titled Southern Africa Mobile Communications Market 2011 analyses industry challenges, market drivers and restraints. It offers revenue forecasts and discusses current and future strategies needed to succeed in the market. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following countries: South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique and Malawi.

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Market Overview

Mobile Broadband Internet Services and WiMaX Technology to Drive Market Expansion 

Mobile communications markets in Southern Africa are experiencing high growth. However, operators continue to confront a raft of challenges: declining interconnection charges, limited spending on telecommunication services by rural dwellers and capital-intensive infrastructure investments. Promisingly, extensive foreign investments are set to improve local infrastructure and push market penetration of mobile services. The deployment of cost-effective mobile technologies such as HSxPA, EDGE, HSPA+ and WiMAX are expected to help market participants achieve economies of scale.  South Africa is the leading market in the region in terms of subscribers and revenues, and market growth is projected to be driven by data services and enterprise solutions in the next three to five years.

Mobile broadband internet services and WiMAX technology are giving a filip to market prospects. “Mobile broadband is an effective means to improve the connectivity of internet services in rural areas which suffer from a lack of fixed-line (copper and fibre) infrastructure,” explains the analyst of this research. “Operators might achieve cost-efficient deployment of next generation mobile technologies through maturing WiMAX technology which allows increasing coverage for the limited amount of spectrum available for each operator and supports high-speed mobile data services.” 

Operators to Focus on Maximising Growth in Rural Mass Market

Despite optimistic projections, a host of serious challenges threatens market expansion. Low disposable incomes are restraining the demand for data services, even as low network coverage in the rural mass market and difficult geographic mobility prevents easy access to remote areas. “The majority of mobile subscribers are pre-paid and reside in remote and rural areas,” says the analyst. “Mobile network coverage remains very limited in the rural areas where over 70.0 per cent of the rural mass market resides, restraining the uptake of mobile communications services.” At the same time, the transportation sector is still under development, especially in remote areas. As a result, mobile operators’ presence is limited primarily to major urban cities. 

Operators are advised to develop a wide range of products and services and offer dynamic pricing to meet the unique demands of the rural masses. “Fixed-wireless and fibre-optic technologies are alternatives to improve access to telecommunication services in rural areas,” adds the analyst. “Leading operators in the region have engaged in offering community phones which are seen as a substitute for mobile handsets at present.” Strategies around improving rural access to telecommunication services could include making use of multi-branded channels in such outposts. Making mobile services available at petrol stations and supermarkets or outlets every three to five kilometres in remote areas would also encourage market advancement.

Market Sectors

Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following countries in this research:

  • South Africa
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique
  • Malawi 

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  Table Of Contents

1. Executive Summary 

2. Market Overview

3. Total Market

   3.1 External Challenges: Drivers and Restraints

   3.2 Forecasts and Trends

   3.3 Demand Analysis

   3.4 Market Share and Competitive Analysis 

4. Region Breakdown

   4.1 South Africa

   4.2 Lesotho

   4.3 Mozambique

   4.4 Malawi

7. Strategic Recommendations 

8. The Last Word

9.  Appendix

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