The island nation of Mauritius has long been a pioneer in the telecom sector, reports Research & Markets.
It was the first market in the greater Africa region to launch mobile telecom networks (in 1989), the first to provide a 3G service (2004), the first in the world to develop a nationwide WiMAX wireless broadband network (2005), and one of the first to launch IPTV services (2006). LTE and fibre broadband services are nationally available, while the government has also supported the building of a national Wi-Fi network, with additional funds set aside in the 2017-18 Budget.
The incumbent telco, Mauritius Telecom, has been partially privatised and benefits from the scale and technical prowess of Orange Group, which holds a 40% interest in the operator. All sectors of the market are open to competition. The country is a hub for submarine cables providing international connectivity, with the first stage of laying the IOX Cable underway and expected to be ready for service in 2019. The LION3 cable provides additional capacity and is helping make Mauritius a regional hub for cable connectivity.
Mauritius is successfully pursuing a policy to make telecommunications a pillar of economic growth, and to have a fully digital-based infrastructure. The mobile market, with penetration at 143% by late 2018, is migrating from voice to data services. There are three network operators: Mauritius Telecom (in partnership with Orange Group), Emtel (operated by the Currimjee Jeewanjee Group and Bharti Enterprises), and Mahanagar (a subsidiary of MTNL which is also the island's second fixed-line operator using CDMA2000 technology). These operators have steadily increased the reach of their LTE infrastructure to support growing demand for mobile data services.
In the broadband sector there is continuing progress in developing FttC and FttP rollouts. Mauritius Telecom invested more than Rs5 billion to fast-track national FttP deployment.