Sudan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses: September 2018

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Executive summary

Sudan’s Sudatel signs network upgrade deals with Nokia and Liquid Telecom

Sudan makes up the northern part of a country which in 2011 was separated to form the new state of South Sudan. Three quarters of the former population live in the north, where mobile market penetration is far higher. The country has a relatively well-equipped telecommunications infrastructure by regional standards, including a national fibre optic backbone and international fibre connections.

The economy has performed poorly in recent years, with hyperinflation resulting from the effects of having lost much of its oil reserves to South Sudan and to domestic volatility and social unrest. The country remains subject to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions which include (inter alia) an arms embargo, travel bans, and a freeze on certain assets. This economic climate has made it difficult for operators to develop revenue from services and sufficiently invest in infrastructure upgrades. Nevertheless, Sudatel in 2016 began investing in rural tower infrastructure to improve connectivity(though such measures remain far below what is required) and in early 2018 it also signed deals with Nokia to upgrade mobile infrastructure and with Liquid Telecom to build out a fibre broadband network across the country.

Competition in the fixed-line market comes from Canar Telecom, which was majority-owned by Etisalat until Etisalat sold its 92.3% interest to the Bank of Khartoum in mid-2016. The operator opted to adopt CDMA2000 technology to cost-effectively roll out fixed services and in April 2017 it secured spectrum in the 2.5GHz band which has enabled it to launch LTE services.

Key developments:

  • Sudatel reports 26.8% fall in revenue for Q1 2018;
  • Hyperinflation causing revenue decline for telcos;
  • Sudatel partners with Nokia to trial mobile broadband technologies joins Liquid Telecom to build FttP networks across Sudan;
  • Regulator awards 2.5GHz spectrum licence to Canar Telecom for LTE services;
  • Sudatel announces $267 million investment plan to 2020, contracts to build mobile towers in rural areas; launches LTA-A in Khartoum;
  • Zain Sudan expands LTE services;
  • Sudatel makes bid for MNO licence in Oman
  • Report update includes operator data to Q2 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Zain Sudan, MTN Sudan, Sudatel, Sudani, Canar Telecom (Canartel), SudaNet, ZinaNet, Thuraya

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market analysis
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Historical overview
    • 5.2 Regulatory authority
    • 5.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 5.4 Universal service fund
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 Sudatel
      • 6.1.1 Privatisation
    • 6.2 Canartel (Canar Telecom)
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
      • 7.1.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • 7.1.2 Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)
      • 7.1.3 National fibre backbone
    • 7.2 International infrastructure
      • 7.2.1 Submarine fibre
      • 7.2.2 Terrestrial fibre
      • 7.2.3 The Central African Backbone (CAB)
  • 8. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 8.2 Sudan Internet Society (SiS)
    • 8.3 Broadband statistics
    • 8.4 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 8.4.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 8.5 Fixed wireless broadband services
      • 8.5.1 EV-DO
      • 8.5.2 WiMAX
      • 8.5.3 Satellite broadband
  • 9. Mobile market
    • 9.1 Market analysis
    • 9.2 Mobile statistics
    • 9.3 Mobile data
      • 9.3.1 SMS and MMS
    • 9.4 Mobile broadband
    • 9.5 Regulatory issues
      • 9.5.1 SIM card registration
    • 9.6 Major mobile operators
      • 9.6.1 Zain Sudan
      • 9.6.2 MTN Sudan (Bashair Telecom, Investcom/Areeba)
      • 9.6.3 Sudani (Sudatel)
    • 9.7 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.7.1 4G (LTE)
      • 9.7.2 3G
    • 9.8 Other infrastructure developments
      • 9.8.1 Mobile satellite
    • 9.9 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.9.1 Mobile money
  • 10. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Sudan – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Sudatel financial data – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 3 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and penetration – 1993 – 2009
  • Table 4 – Fixed lines in service and penetration – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 5 – International bandwidth – 2004 - 2016
  • Table 6 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1997 - 2009
  • Table 7 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 8 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2004 – 2018
  • Table 9 – DSL subscribers – 2012 - 2018
  • Table 10 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1996 - 2009
  • Table 11 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2019
  • Table 12 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 13 – SMS traffic – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 14 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 15 – Zain Sudan subscribers and ARPU – 2003 - 2018
  • Table 16 – Zain Sudan financial data ($) – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 17 – Zain Sudan financial data (SDG) – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 18 – MTN Sudan subscribers and ARPU – 2006 - 2018
  • Table 19 – MTN Sudan financial data – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 20 –Sudani mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2017
  • Chart 1 – Sudatel financial data – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 5 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2018