Mauritius is leading Africa in terms of telecoms maturity, according to a new index launched by research firm BuddeComm.
The Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI) analyses the broadband, mobile and fixed Line markets of a country as well as a range of economic parameters to rank it on a scale of 1 to 100 and compare it to its region.
The release of the TMI for Africa reveals that Mauritius is the continent’s top-ranked country, with a Telecoms Maturity Index score of 43. It is followed by Ghana, which scores 34, and Tunisia with 31.
Mauritius’ notably higher score is attributable to its thriving tourism market which has stimulated the market’s broadband sector. There is extensive DSL infrastructure and operators have deployed fibre-based services in a number of localities. Mauritius Telecom invested Rs5.1 billion to roll out fibre across the island, with the project completed the end of 2017 (ahead of the original 2020 timescale).
BuddeComm dubbed three markets as the main “challengers”, or up and coming countries – Mauritania and Uganda, which each scored 13 on the TMI, and Kenya which scored 12. Meanwhile, the leading nations in the “developing” category were Angola and Chad, which each scored 7, and Cameroon which scored 6.
Mobile telephony remains by far the dominant telecom service across Africa, accounting for more than 90% 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% and 99% of all internet connections.
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 Gabon (163%), Botswana (159%), South Africa (147%) and Mauritius (146%). 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.