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The Telecommunications Industry and Retail of Devices in South Africa
BY Stephen Timm
South Africa
23 January 2021
R 14 400.00 (ZAR)  
estimated $ 991.33 (USD) *
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The Telecommunications Industry and Retail of Devices


While data traffic has risen significantly, particularly during lockdown, prepaid subscriber numbers have fallen and some operators have reported a decline in service revenue. Experts in the sector believe a new bid for high frequency spectrum which is set to conclude by 31 March 2021 will bring down the cost of data and increase competition in the sector. Voice’s contribution to overall revenue is falling, with the decline being offset by growth in mobile data income. However, data prices are also slowly falling and the intensive-user market of wealthy and contract customers is increasingly mature. The majority of subscriber growth is in the lower-revenue prepaid segment.


Devices


The sale of devices, particularly smartphones, is a key aspect of mobile operators’ business strategy. While device sales earn significant revenue for the networks each year, many devices are heavily subsidised and much of their importance lies in the ability to drive growth in data traffic and demand. There are about 53 million active smartphones in South Africa and smartphone penetration continues to grow. Devices such as smart watches and fitness trackers are not yet very common, but ownership has increased noticeably. Large players have introduced relatively cheap smartphones or “smart” feature phones in an effort to drive smartphone uptake and increase the number of data-enabled devices on their networks.


Report Coverage


This report focuses on the South African telecommunications industry and the market for mobile devices with an emphasis on telephony, internet and mobile broadband, and the relevant supporting infrastructure. It includes comprehensive information on the state and size of the sector, its major players, and the latest available revenue, subscriber and market share statistics. There is information on regulatory issues, the performance of industry players and corporate actions and other developments. There are profiles of 55 companies including network providers Telkom, Vodacom and MTN, fibre companies such as Vox and Vumatel, and relatively new data companies such as Rain.


Page
1. INTRODUCTION 1
2. DESCRIPTION OF THE INDUSTRY 1
2.1. Industry Value Chain 3
2.2. Geographic Position 5
3. SIZE OF THE INDUSTRY 5
4. STATE OF THE INDUSTRY 12
4.1. Local 12
4.1.1. Corporate Actions 41
4.1.2. Regulations 43
4.1.3. Enterprise Development and Social Economic Development 46
4.2. Continental 48
4.3. International 51
5. INFLUENCING FACTORS 54
5.1. Economic Environment 54
5.2. Lack of Spectrum 55
5.3. Policy Uncertainty and Ineffective Regulatory Bodies 57
5.4. Labour 58
5.5. Environmental Concerns 60
5.6. Electricity Supply 61
5.7. Technology, Research and Development (R&D) and Innovation 62
6. COMPETITION 64
6.1. Barriers to Entry 66
7. SWOT ANALYSIS 66
8. OUTLOOK 67
9. INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS 68
10. REFERENCES 68
10.1. Publications 68
10.2. Websites 69
APPENDIX 1 – SUMMARY OF NOTABLE PLAYERS 70
Telecommunications 70
Wholesale and Retail of Devices 79
COMPANY PROFILES – TELECOMMUNICATIONS 82
A T C (PTY) LTD 82
AFRIHOST SP (PTY) LTD 84
ALTRON TMT (PTY) LTD 86
BITCO TELECOMS (PTY) LTD 89
BLUE LABEL TELECOMS LTD 91
BROADBAND INFRACO SOC LTD 96
BUSINESS CONNEXION (PTY) LTD 99
CELCOM GROUP (PTY) LTD 102
CELL C LTD 104
CYBERSMART (PTY) LTD 108
DARK FIBRE AFRICA (PTY) LTD 110
DATAPRO (PTY) LTD 112
DATATEC LTD 114
DIMENSION DATA (PTY) LTD 117
DNI-4PL CONTRACTS (PTY) LTD 120
EOH MTHOMBO (PTY) LTD 122
FIBRECO TELECOMMUNICATIONS (PTY) LTD 126
FONEWORX (PTY) LTD 128
GATEWAY COMMUNICATIONS (PTY) LTD 131
HUGE TELECOM (PTY) LTD 133
IGNITION TELECOMS INVESTMENTS (PTY) LTD 136
JASCO ELECTRONICS HOLDINGS LTD 139
LIQUID TELECOMMUNICATIONS SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 143
LUNGISA - VRG TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND PROJECTS (PTY) LTD 145
METRO FIBRE NETWORX (PTY) LTD 147
MRP MOBILE (PTY) LTD 149
MTN GROUP LTD 150
NOKIA SOLUTIONS AND NETWORKS SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 154
NOKIA SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 156
RAIN GTM (PTY) LTD 158
REUNERT LTD 160
SABRE RADIO NETWORKS (PTY) LTD 165
SENTECH SOC LTD 167
SGT SOLUTIONS (PTY) LTD 170
STRIKE MEDIA (PTY) LTD 173
TELEMASTERS HOLDINGSC LTD 175
TELKOM SA SOC LTD 178
TELLUMAT (PTY) LTD 182
TERACO DATA ENVIRONMENTS (PTY) LTD 185
TRIBAL ZONE TELECOMMUNICATIONS (PTY) LTD 187
TRUTEQ WIRELESS (PTY) LTD 188
VIRGIN MOBILE SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 190
VODACOM GROUP LTD 192
VOX TELECOMMUNICATIONS (PTY) LTD 196
VUMATEL (PTY) LTD 199
COMPANY PROFILES – RETAIL AND WHOLESALE OF DEVICES 200
2C TELECOMS (PTY) LTD 200
CELL C LTD 202
CORE COMPUTER GROUP (PTY) LTD (THE) 206
HISENSE SA SALES HOLDINGS (PTY) LTD 208
HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES AFRICA (PTY) LTD 210
KNR FLATROCK (PTY) LTD 212
LENOVO (SOUTH AFRICA) (PTY) LTD 214
LG ELECTRONICS S A (PTY) LTD 216
MICROSOFT (S A) (PTY) LTD 218
MRP MOBILE (PTY) LTD 223
MTN GROUP LTD 224
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 228
TELKOM SA SOC LTD 230
VIRGIN MOBILE SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 234
VODACOM GROUP LTD 236
ZTE CORPORATION SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 240