Market research logo; 28 years of Excellence in Market Research since 1988.
Market research logo; 28 years of Excellence in Market Research since 1988.

Need advice? Keen to get the best deal? Call now on +44 (0)1494 771734

South Africa Telecommunications Report

South Africa Telecommunications Report

Market Study
Published: November 2016
Pages: 79
Research from: Business Monitor International
Sector: Broadband & Fixed

From: GBP 820.00
Buy Now!

BMI View:
We have made some minor forecast revisions in this quarterly update to account for the latest data but retain our positive outlook for the South African mobile market and telecoms sector overall. Subscription growth in the market is driven by a variety of factors including operators' promotional offerings, multiple SIM ownership and launch of advanced data services. 3G and 4G services have strong uptake as well as a positive impact on non-voice service revenues, with all four carriers launching LTEAdvanced technology offerings. Further market landscape changes are expected as Blue Label Telecoms is expected to acquire 45% ownership of Cell C.

Latest Updates & Industry Developments

- The South African mobile subscriptions reached 91.2mn in H116, up 7.4% y-o-y, with penetration reaching 165.9%. Vodacom and Cell C encountered positive customer growth whereas MTN experienced a decline of 783,000 customers.

- In late 2016, The High Court in Pretoria ruled that the country's telecoms regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), could not go ahead with the auction of R12bn-worth of LTE spectrum. The government's recent ICT Policy White Paper considers various spectrum propositions as the level of intervention in the market heightens.

- The main source of future growth in the mobile market will be the development of 3G and 4G services, with the launch of LTE a clear signal that operators are preparing for intense competition based on the delivery of data services. We currently expect the number of 3G and 4G customers to rise to 47.7mn by the end of 2020, equivalent to 49.79% of the forecast mobile subscriber base. We forecast broadband subscriptions to increase from 8.44mn in 2016 to 9.14mn in 2020, equivalent to a penetration rate of 16.14%. Increasing competition and investment pose an upside risk to this forecast with more focused contributions to the broadband market by open access players to result in a medium-term surge of growth in the number of retail broadband subscriptions.


The South Africa Telecommunications Report features BMI Research's independent industry forecasts on the future strength of South Africa's ICT market, covering the fixed-line, mobile and internet segments and analyses latest regulatory developments and corporate news, including investment activity, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships. Leading operators and manufacturers are fully profiled, highlighting their quarterly financial performance, capital expenditure plans and latest contracts.

BMI's South Africa Telecommunications Report provides industry professionals and researchers, operators, equipment suppliers and vendors, corporate and financial services analysts and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the telecoms industry in South Africa.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent telecoms industry forecasts for South Africa to test other views - a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the South African telecoms market.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in South Africa's telecoms sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in South Africa.
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. SWOTs, KPIs and latest activity).



  • BMI Industry View

Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts and views, covering the ARPU, fixed-line, mobile (including 3G & 4G), internet and broadband markets.

Industry SWOT Analysis

Analysis of the major Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the wireline and wireless sectors and within the broader political, economic and business environment.

BMI Industry Forecast Scenario

Historic data series (2010-2013) and forecasts to end-2019 for all key industry indicators, supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast.

  • Fixed-line Telephony – Telephone lines (‘000); telephone lines/100 inhabitants.
  • Cellular Telephony – Mobile phone subscribers (‘000); mobile phone subscribers/100 inhabitants; and where available, 3G & 4G subscribers (‘000); 3G & 4G subscribers/100 inhabitants; 3G & 4G subscribers as a percentage of overall mobile market.
  • Internet Markets – Internet users (‘000); internet users/100 inhabitants; broadband internet subscribers (‘000); broadband internet subscribers/100 inhabitants.

BMI’s Telecommunications Risk Reward Index

BMI’s Risk Reward Indices provide investors (vendors, operators and suppliers) looking for opportunities in the region with a clear country comparative assessment of a market’s risks and potential rewards. Each of the country markets are scored using a sophisticated model that includes more than 40 industry, economic and demographic data points to provide an Indices of highest to lowest appeal to investors, with each position explained.

Market Data Analysis

Detailed market analysis of the mobile, mobile content, fixed-line and internet segments, broken down into:

  • Market Data – Analysis of market size, operator shares, dominant trends, competitive landscape and key quarterly data.
  • Technology/Service Rollout – Analysis of rollout/adoption of new technology, such as 3G & 4G, WiMAX, IPTV, pay-TV, LTE and valueadded handset services (gaming, music, video, apps etc.).
  • Mobile Content – The latest trends in content and services available and being introduced by mobile operators, including a timeline of all the latest major mobile content developments.
    Company Database – A comprehensive breakdown of KPIs of the leading mobile operators, including subscriber figures by type (pre-paid and post-paid); 3G & 4G subscriber figures; net additions; market share; ARPU; churn rates; minutes of use; voice and non-voice revenue; financial figures (including operating revenues, net profits and EBITDA).

Regulatory Environment

Details of the regulatory bodies and their responsibilities, as well as a special focus on the rules surrounding competition and interconnection. Also covers the latest updates in the market’s development and regulatory rulings.

Company Profiles*

Examines the competitive positioning and short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape to generate Company SWOT analyses. The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.


The Telecommunications Reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports.

Top of Page