Although delayed by the long civil war which ended in 1992, Mozambique was one of the first countries in the region to embark upon telecom reform, reports Research & Markets.
The mobile segment in particular has shown strong growth since the introduction of competition in 2003 between Vodacom Mozambique and mCel, the incumbent mobile subsidiary of the national telco Telecomunicaes de Moambique (TdM).
Mobile penetration remains far below the average for the region. Given that the country has relatively low fixed-line penetration, there is considerable room for further growth in the coming years. This has been stimulated by the launch of commercial services from the third operator Movitel, which is backed by Vietnam's Viettel, while the regulator has begun a multi-spectrum auction process and imposed MTR cuts through to 2020.
In recent years the government has drafted legislation aimed at enforcing the registration of SIM cards. At the end of 2016 almost five million unregistered SIM cards were deactivated. Measures aimed at sharing network infrastructure have helped reduce operational and investment costs, and enabled players to provide converged voice, data and TV services over single networks. Vodacom Mozambique was awarded such a licence in mid-2018, and soon afterwards launched the country's first LTE service.
The poor fixed-line infrastructure has largely held back the market for fixed-line internet services, and as a result mobile internet accounts for most connections. The high cost of international bandwidth had long hampered internet use, though the landing of two international submarine cables (SEACOM and EASSy) has reduced the cost of bandwidth and so led to drastic reductions in broadband retail prices. Additionally, Mozambique has joined the Alliance for Affordable Internet, which aims to provide broadband at less than 5% of average monthly income.
There is some cross-platform competition, with DSL, cable broadband, WiMAX, 3G and limited fibre broadband available. Additionally, several operators – among them TdM – are in the process of deploying national fibre backbone networks, which are expected to bring further improvements, and TdM has contracted Intelsat for satellite broadband and backhaul services.