Bots telecoms to hit US$519 million by 2023

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Mpho Tebele

 

Gaborone - Data and analytics company, GlobalData, said that Botswana’s telecommunication services market is expected to grow from US$407 million in 2018 to US$519 million by 2023 at a compound annual global rate (CAGR) of five percent over the 2018-2023 period due to growth in mobile data and fixed broadband segments.

 In its latest report, the research based company said that mobile data was the largest revenue-contributing segment in 2018 and was expected to expand at a CAGR of 12.3 percent over 2018-2023, supported by the expansion of mobile broadband networks and wider adoption of 4G services across the country.

“Botswana’s fixed market will be driven by broadband service revenue, which will increase at the fastest CAGR of 12.6 percent over the forecast period,” the report said.

 Botswana’s telecom services market will grow from US$407 million in 2018 to US$519 million by 2023 at a CAGR of 5.0% over 2018-2023 driven by growth in mobile data and fixed broadband segments. Mobile data was the largest revenue-contributing segment in 2018.

It will expand at a CAGR of 12.3% over 2018-2023, supported by the expansion of mobile broadband networks and wider adoption of 4G services across the country. Botswana’s fixed market will be driven by broadband service revenue, which will increase at the fastest CAGR of 12.6% over the forecast period. Fixed broadband growth will be supported by expansions and enhancements of fixed broadband networks carried out under the government’s national broadband strategy.

The overall telecom service revenue in Botswana will grow at a CAGR of 5.0% during 2018-2023.
Mobile services revenue will account for 79.3% of the total telecom service revenue in 2023, driven by the expansion of mobile broadband networks and wider adoption of 4G services across the country.
Mascom Botswana led Botswana’s mobile market in terms of mobile subscriptions for 2018, followed by Orange Botswana and BTC. All the operators compete on the basis of network expansions/upgrades, particularly in the fast-growing 3G and 4G meanwhile another report by another global research company, Business Wire states that effective regulatory reform has made Botswana's telecom market one of the most liberalised in the region. It says there is a service-neutral licensing regime which considers the increasing convergence of technologies and services. Several operators now compete effectively, particularly in the mobile segment.

“Botswana has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in Africa, with growth in the number of subscribers having recovered from the sharp fall seen at the end of 2016. Popular use of multiple SIM cards from different operators has delayed the introduction of mobile number portability, with the telecom regulator not convinced of the facility's economic benefits,”the report says.

In a bid to generate new revenue streams and secure market share, the three mobile network operators (MNOs) Mascom Wireless (an affiliate of South Africa's MTN), Orange Botswana (backed by Orange Group) and BTC have entered the underdeveloped broadband sector by adopting of 3G, LTE and WiMAX technologies. In the fixed-line broadband market they compete with a large number of ISPs, some of which have rolled out their own wireless access infrastructure.

After a period of stagnation, the number of internet users has risen strongly in recent years, largely the result of lower prices following improvements in international connectivity. Historically, the landlocked country has depended on satellites for its international bandwidth, and on other countries for transit capacity to landing points of international submarine fibre optic cable systems. The landing of additional cables in the region in recent years has improved the competitive situation in this sector, while prices for connectivity have fallen by up to 70%. The stability and cheaper cost of fixed-line broadband services continues to attract subscribers, though mobile internet remains the preferred choice for most, particularly among the large proportion of younger people in the country.

 

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