Mauritius leads in African telecoms with Algeria and South Africa in 2nd and 3rd place


TELECOM market research and consultancy company BuddeComm’s Telecoms Maturity Index revealed last year that Mauritius lead the telecoms market in Africa followed by Ghana and Tunisia. This year’s new ranking shows Algeria and South Africa are now in the top three.

BuddeComm’s Telecoms Maturity Index analyses a country’s broadband, mobile and fixed line markets on top of a range of economic parameters to rank it on a scale of 1 to 100 and compare it to its region. The 2019 market leaders: Mauritius remains the top-ranking country in Africa with a Telecoms Maturity Index score of 49, followed by Algeria (43) and South Africa (34).

In Mauritius, the thriving tourism market has stimulated the broadband sector. There is an extensive DSL infrastructure and operators have deployed fibre-based services in a number of localities. Mauritius Telecom invested Rs5.1bn (about $142 million) to roll out fibre across the island. Fibre is available to about 85 percent of the company’s fixed broadband customer base.

In Algeria, Mobilis, one of the 3 major mobile operators, has contracted Huawei as a partner for its network migration to 5G. Mobile penetration approaches 116 percent and mobile internet accounts for about 92 percent of all internet connections in the country.

By early 2019 South Africa’s mobile penetration approached 169 percent, driven partly by the popularity of multiple card use as also by the take-up of mobile broadband services. Mobile internet accounts for about 95 percent of all internet connections

  1. Market challengers: The top 3 market challengers are Libya with a score of 23, Lesotho (20.5) and Zimbabwe (20.2). Last year, the top challengers were Mauritania (13), Uganda (13) and Kenya (12).
  2. Developing nations: Among the developing markets, the top three countries are Burundi (9.4) Uganda (9.3) and Nigeria (9.1). Last year, the developing markets were Angola (7) Chad (7) and Cameroon (6).
  1. Mobile telephony remains by far the dominant telecom service across Africa, accounting for more than 90 percent of all telephone lines on the continent. Given the very poor condition of fixed-line infrastructure in most markets, mobile internet access as a consequence also accounts for between 95 percent and 99 percent of all internet connections.
  2. The size and range of the diverse markets within Africa have contributed to varied market penetration rates between countries. By early 2018 the highest mobile penetration was found in countries including South Africa (169 percent), Botswana (160 percent) and Mauritius (147 percent). To some degree high penetration reflects the popularity of consumers having multiple SIM cards despite efforts among most regulators to enforce measures by which operators must register SIM card users
  3. The African Market reportshowcases the TMI for all African countries providing a unique perspective on the region.


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