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Research and Markets: Mauritius will return to 4%-5% levels of growth from 2011

Mauritius - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband is the latest report from Research and Markets. It predicts that annual GDP growth should return to between 4% and 5% as of 2011...

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Mauritius - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband" report to its offering. The company points out that Mauritius sports some of the best telecoms market indicators in Africa and has been the first with many innovations: Africa's first cellular system was launched there in 1989, the first commercial 3G mobile service in 2004, the world's first nationwide WiMAX wireless broadband network in 2005, and one of Africa's first IPTV services in 2006.

 With strong tourism and financial services sectors, however, Mauritius' economy has been hit harder by the global economic crisis than many other African countries. IMF forecasts predict that after a dip to around 2% in 2009 and 2010, annual GDP growth will return to levels between 4% and 5% again from 2011.

The incumbent telco Mauritius Telecom (MT) has been partially privatised and all sectors of the market are open to competition. Served by a modern, digital fixed-line network, two fibre-optic submarine cables for international connectivity, three mobile networks, various broadband and other service providers, Mauritius is actively pursuing a policy of making telecoms the fifth pillar of its economy and to become a regional telecom hub with Singapore as a role model.

At more than 80% penetration, the mobile market is approaching saturation. The 3G service segment is showing the highest growth rates for the two GSM-based networks - Orange (MT in partnership with France Telecom) and Emtel, operated by Millicom International. The strongest overall subscriber growth is currently seen by the third mobile network, Mahanagar (MTML), which is undercutting its competitors' tariffs and offers an EV-DO broadband service through a CDMA2000 network. MTML is also the country's second fixed network operator.

Mauritius was also one of the first countries in Africa to legalise VoIP telephony. Combined with well-developed infrastructure, this has led to the introduction of converged voice, Internet and broadband TV services which have been taken up by the majority of broadband users. Further improvements in this sector and lower prices are expected from the landing of the second international submarine fibre which will provide an alternative route to Europe in the near future.

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