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South Sudan - Telecoms, Mobile & Broadband Market - Investment Environment & Forecasts

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Market Briefing
Published: January 2014
Pages: 27
Research from: Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd.
Sector: Broadband & Fixed

From: GBP 372.00
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A virtually untapped emerging market with many investment opportunities

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in South Sudan’s emerging telecommunications market and the business environment for investors. Subjects covered include:

  • Key statistics;
  • Market and industry overviews;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • Business environment, investment incentives and protection;
  • Telecoms operators – licensing, privatisation, acquisitions;
  • Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
  • Infrastructure development, including fibre;
  • Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G and 4G mobile broadband;
  • Average Revenue per User (ARPU);
  • Internet and broadband development and growth;
  • Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);
  • Mobile banking;
  • Market forecasts.

Following a referendum, oil-rich South Sudan seceded from Sudan and became the world’s youngest independent nation in 2011. Having been deprived of development for decades, it has one of the least developed telecommunications and internet markets in the world, creating investment opportunities for infrastructure and service providers. Future developments depend on how quickly peace can be restored following an armed rebellion that started in December 2013.

At only around 20% penetration, one of the lowest in Africa, South Sudan’s mobile market has many years of strong growth ahead of it. The virtually untapped internet and broadband market will kick off once the country gains access to international fibre optic cables and a national backbone network is put in place. Sophisticated infrastructure solutions are needed to reach the 80% of the population that live outside of the main urban centres. With a negligible rate of bank account ownership, mobile payment and banking solutions are set to dominate the country’s financial services sector as well.

The limits to growth are currently defined by widespread poverty and a low literacy rate, but the government recognises the positive feedback loop on development that access to information and communication technologies (ICT) can have and is providing a range of investment incentives. The international community has provided US$4 billion in aid to strengthen governance and institutions in the young nation.

Market highlights:

  • Mobile market growth potential one of the biggest in Africa;
  • International fibre connections will kickstart the untapped internet and broadband market;
  • Mobile banking solutions set to revolutionise the largely cash-based economy;
  • Investment incentives in the ICT sector.

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

Penetration rate

(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Companies covered in this report:

Zain, Vivacell (Network of the World; NOW); MTN; Gemtel Green Network (G Telecom; LAP Green); Sudatel; Sudani; Canar Telecom (Canartel, Etisalat); fastNet; RCS Communication; iBurst; Thuraya; Yahsat; O3b Networks; Fujairah Media Group (FMG); Equity Bank.

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