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Mauritius - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 22 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 89

Mauritius developing Smart City concept

The island nation of Mauritius has long been a pioneer in the telecom sector. It was the first market in the greater Africa region to launch mobile telecom networks (in 1989), the first to provide a 3G service (2004), the first in the world to develop a nationwide WiMAX wireless broadband network (2005), and one of the first to launch IPTV services (2006). LTE and fibre broadband services are nationally available, while the government has also supported the building of a national Wi-Fi network, with additional funds set aside in the 2017-18 Budget.

The incumbent telco, Mauritius Telecom, has been partially privatised and benefits from the scale and technical prowess of Orange Group, which holds a 40% interest in the operator. All sectors of the market are open to competition. The country is a hub for submarine cables providing international connectivity, with the first stage of laying the IOX Cable underway and expected to be ready for service in 2019. The LION3 cable provides additional capacity and is helping make Mauritius a regional hub for cable connectivity.

Mauritius is successfully pursuing a policy to make telecommunications a pillar of economic growth, and to have a fully digital-based infrastructure,

The mobile market, with penetration at 143% by late 2018, is migrating from voice to data services. There are three network operators –Mauritius Telecom (in partnership with Orange Group), Emtel (operated by the Currimjee Jeewanjee Group and Bharti Enterprises), and Mahanagar (a subsidiary of MTNL which is also the island’s second fixed-line operator using CDMA2000 technology). These operators have steadily increased the reach of their LTE infrastructure to support growing demand for mobile data services.

In the broadband sector there is continuing progress in developing FttC and FttP rollouts. Mauritius Telecom invested more than Rs5 billion to fast-track national FttP deployment.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • IOX Cable survey gets underway;
  • MAS cable lands at Rodrigues;
  • Mauritius Telecom completes national LTE and fibre network reach;
  • Mauritius signs MoU with Estonia to develop ICTs;
  • Government makes progress with its 'Wi-Fi Mauritius' program;
  • Emtel extends Airbox FWA across Mauritius;
  • Government unveils Smart Mauritius program;
  • Korean government helps develop e-government services;
  • National Broadband Policy aiming for 100Mb/s availability nationally by 2020;
  • Report update includes telcos' operating data to Q4 2017, regulator's market data to June 2018, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Mauritius Telecom, Mahanagar Telephone (Mauritius) (MTNL), Emtel (Millicom, Currimjee Jeewanjee, Bharti Airtel), Bharat Telecom, Network Plus, DCL Internet, Outremer Telecom.

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