Find Telecommunication expertise in Mozambique
Mozambique was relatively unaffected by the global financial crisis in 2008; GDP grew 7.3% in 2010 and is expected to grow 8.4% in 2013 (Budde, 2013). Also, two decades of peace since the end of civil war of 1992 has enabled the sector to develop considerably. With a strong economic growth rate, the telecoms sector should build upon infrastructural plans in order to see penetration levels rise and costs decline. Whilst the most recent figure available suggests that the telecoms industry contributes 1.23% of Mozambique’s GDP, the figure has likely risen since the implementation of fibre optic backbone networks and the growth within the mobile sector (EconStats, 2006).
Telecomunicações de Moçambique (TDM) is the sole fixed telephone provider. Its subsidiary mCel was the only mobile provider until the sector opened to competition in 1999. The second mobile license was then awarded to Vodacom in 2002 and a third license to Movitel in 2012. There are approximately 20 IPs currently operating within the country, with the benefit of ADSL, cable modems, WiMAX and 3G mobile adding to the positive growth rate of the industry (ResearchAfrica, 2010). The introduction of competition has helped drive down prices of mobile and broadband services. However, the government is hesitant to privatise TDM because fixed-line infrastructure have yet to enjoy the success of mobile projects.
In 2013 the government re-drafted the 2004 Telecommunications Act which aimed to develop more competition and reduce costs caused by a lack of sustained infrastructural development. Since the country implemented two submarine fibre optic cables (Seacom and EASSy), the cost of broadband has begun to slowly decline. However, the internet penetration rates and broadband costs in Mozambique remain lower than the African average (Budde, 2013).
There were 2,455 employees in the business in 2006, but with the introduction of a third mobile license and overall increase in demand, this figure is also likely to be higher when next published.
The Instituto Nacional das Comunicações (INCM) is Mozambique’s regulator for the sector. As well as controlling the quality of postal and telecommunication services, the body also has powers to regulate and check prices. In terms of ICT, the Mozambique Information and Communication Technology Institute (MICTI) holds jurisdiction for ICT implementation policy for the country as a whole (OERAfrica).
ICT projects include GovNet and Provincial Digital Resource Centres (CPRDs) which help link and deploy ICT infrastructure and training in local areas and provinces. This builds upon work done by Community Media Centres (CMCs) which are designed to bring ICT access to rural areas. In terms of training, some higher education courses include those run by Universidade Católica de Moçambique (UCM) and Instituto Superior de Transportes e Comunicação (ISUTC).
Mozambique in the lowest quarter of the world in terms of telecommunications infrastructure, though it possesses huge market potential. There are 4 fixed telephone lines, 331 mobile telephone subscriptions, 1 fixed broadband subscription and 18 mobile broadband subscriptions per 1,000 people of the population. Statistics also show that 4.8% of the population use the internet with an international bandwidth of 1.7 kbps per user. (World Economic Forum, ‘Global Competitiveness Report 2013-14’).