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Madagascar sees more competition in the LTE sector
Madagascar’s economy has shown steady growth in recent years, benefiting from a revived tourist sector. The Plans to exploit and export crude oil, gas and other natural resources may also deliver a boost to the economy, despite the falling price of these commodities on international markets.
This period of strengthening economic output is helping to increase consumer spend on telecom services. These services are becoming cheaper as a result of intensifying competition between the main operators, including Orange Madagascar, Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain) and the incumbent telco Telma. A fourth mobile operator, Blueline, now operates its own network having been an MVNO since 2010.
Positive developments in the internet and broadband sector are also materialising following the arrival of the first international submarine fibre optic cables, LION and EASSy on the island in 2009 and 2010. This ended the country’s dependency on satellites for international connections, bringing down the cost of international bandwidth and making internet access more affordable to a wider part of the population. The IOX cable is expected to be ready for service in early 2019, which will provide additional capacity to support the fast growing mobile data market.
A national fibre backbone is being implemented connecting the major cities, and Telma expects to invest an additional $250 million to expand the backbone network from 5,000km to 11,000km by 2019. Wireless broadband access networks are being rolled out, enabling converged voice, data and entertainment services. The launch of 3G and LTE mobile broadband services has enabled the mobile operators to reverse their rapidly declining average revenue per user (ARPU).
The fixed-line sector has been undergoing a revolution following the privatisation of Telma. ADSL2+ broadband services have been introduced and the decline in fixed-line revenue has been successfully reversed. Despite these positive developments, the national telco is considering various divestiture options.
Penetration rates in all market sectors are still below African averages, and so there remains excellent growth potential.
- Orange Madagascar launches LTE services;
- Orange extends Digital Schools project to Madagascar;
- Government and regulator work on SIM card registration scheme;
- Telecom service tax raised to 10% in 2016 Finance Act;
- Airtel extends mobile license for a further ten years;
- Orange secures mobile licence renewal;
- Telma launches LTE services across Madagascar;
- Gulfsat improves IPTV capabilities;
- Lower international bandwidth costs leading to retail broadband price cuts;
- National fibre rollout continues;
- Report update includes the regulator’s market data, telcos operating data, recent market developments.
Market penetration rates in Madagascar’s telecoms sector – 2016 (e)
|Penetration of telecoms services:||Penetration|
|Mobile SIM (population)||51%|
Companies mentioned in this report:
Telecom Malagasy (Telma); Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel); Orange Madagascar; Madamobil; Gulfsat Madagascar; Blueline; Datacom; Data Telecom Services (DTS, Moov)