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London, United Kingdom, 2007/11/29 - Report Buyer, the online destination for business intelligence for major industry sectors, has added a new report which traces the fundamental changes taking place in South Africa.
Report Buyer has added a new report which traces the fundamental changes taking place in South Africa, the economic powerhouse and leading telecommunications market of the continent.
“Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland report - 2007 Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Africa” says the country’s telecom sector boasts the continent’s most advanced networks in terms of technology deployed and services provided. In fact, it finds that South Africa is taking a regional lead role in the convergence of telecommunication and information technologies.
Analysts believe that the much-awaited Electronic Communications Act (formerly Convergence Bill) was finally enacted in mid-2006. They believe that the sweeping liberalisation measures taken two years earlier, legalising - among other things - the use of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), have begun to change the country’s telecoms landscape fundamentally.
The study finds that ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are turning into phone companies, and vice versa. Both are moving into delivering audio and video content over their networks, while in turn the traditional electronic media carriers are discovering the potential of their infrastructure for telecommunications service delivery.
Authors of the report say that the newly licensed SNO (Second National Operator), Neotel finally launched services in competition to Telkom SA in early 2007, using nationwide infrastructure of Eskom and Transtel, the country’s electricity and railway utilities. They find that broadcasting signal carrier Sentech is another major owner of telecommunications infrastructure, and some of the largest municipalities in the country are also rolling out their own networks. Wireless technologies are being pursued to provide alternatives to Telkom’s copper access network. The end of Telkom’s monopoly on the international SAT-3 submarine cable in 2007 is expected to help reduce the costs of telecommunication in South Africa which are currently among the highest in the world.
The publication says that despite being open to competition by more than 200 ISPs, South Africa’s Internet sector has been stagnant in recent years due to the expensive operating environment created by Telkom SA’s dominance in the fixed-line and bandwidth market. It finds, though that modest growth has now returned to the Internet market, stimulated by the launch of ADSL and wireless broadband services in 2004, followed by continuous price cuts in the following years. Further stimulus is expected in 2007 from the launch of the SNO and an expansion of 3G/HSDPA services by the country’s mobile network operators.
The continent’s leading mobile market, South Africa has seen rapid uptake of GSM since competition was introduced to the sector more than 10 years ago. With market penetration exceeding 70% and mobile number portability introduced in 2006, the subscriber growth curve has started to flatten, increasingly forcing the three network operators to find innovative ways of distinguishing themselves from the competition in order to gain and retain customers.
“Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland report - 2007 Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Africa” is available from Report Buyer. For more information, please visit the website.
Report Buyer product ID: BUD00166
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