Sudan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Sudan government encouraging digital payments
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. In common with a few countries in Africa, including neighbouring Ethiopia, Sudan is developing space technologies in a bid to support economic growth and improve the capabilities of its military and agricultural sectors. A Chinese built satellite was launched (from China) in November 2019.
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.
Politically, the country remains in a transitional period initiated in August 2019 following protests against authoritarian rule, including media and internet censorship.
The poor economic climate has made it difficult for operators to develop revenue from services and sufficiently invest in infrastructure upgrades. Nevertheless, Sudatel has invested in rural tower infrastructure to improve connectivity and has also contracted Nokia to upgrade mobile infrastructure and Liquid Telecom to build a fibre broadband network across the country.
BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year, the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.
On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.
Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.
The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.
- Sudatel launches ‘Gorooshi’ m-money service;
- Government promotes transition from cash to digital payments;
- Hyperinflation causing dollar 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, contracts to build mobile towers in rural areas, launches LTA-A in Khartoum;
- Zain Sudan expands LTE services under five-year investment program;
- Report update includes operator data to Q2 2020, regulator’s market data to Q3 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.
Zain Sudan, MTN Sudan, Sudatel, Sudani, Canar Telecom (Canartel), SudaNet, ZinaNet, Thuraya
2 REGIONAL AFRICA MARKET COMPARISON
2.1 TMI vs GDP
2.2 Mobile and mobile broadband
2.3 Fixed and mobile broadband
3 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
4 COVID-19 AND ITS IMPACT ON THE TELECOM SECTOR
4.1 Economic considerations and responses
4.2 Mobile devices
5 TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
5.1 Market analysis
6 REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
6.1 Historical overview
6.2 Regulatory authority
6.3 Fixed-line developments
6.4 Mobile network developments
7 MOBILE MARKET
7.1 Market analysis
7.2 Mobile statistics
7.3 Mobile data
7.4 Mobile broadband
7.5 Major mobile operators
7.6 Mobile infrastructure
7.7 Other infrastructure developments
7.8 Mobile content and applications
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
8.5 Fixed wireless broadband services
9 DIGITAL ECONOMY
10 FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
10.2 Canartel (Canar Telecom)
11 TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
11.1 Overview of the national telecom network
11.2 International infrastructure
12 APPENDIX HISTORIC DATA
13 GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS
14 RELATED REPORTS
Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Sudan 2020 (e)
Table 2 Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Table 3 Change in the share of mobile subscribers by operator 2011 2020
Table 4 Growth in SMS traffic 2010 2018
Table 5 Change in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers by operator 2015 2019
Table 6 Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Table 7 Growth in the number of Zain Sudan's mobile subscribers 2010 2020
Table 8 Growth in Zain Sudan's financial data 2013 2020
Table 9 Development of Zain Sudan's financial data (SDG) 2015 2020
Table 10 Growth in the number of MTN Sudan's subscribers 2010 2020
Table 11 Development of MTN Sudan's financial data 2013 2020
Table 12 Growth in the number of Sudani's mobile subscribers 2011 2019
Table 13 Growth in the number of fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Table 14 Change in the number of DSL subscribers 2012 2020
Table 15 Development of Sudatel's financial data 2010 2020
Table 16 Growth in the number of fixed lines in service and penetration 2010 2025
Table 17 Increase in international internet bandwidth 2010 2017
Table 18 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1996 2009
Table 19 Historic - Zain Sudan subscribers and ARPU 2003 2010
Table 20 Historic - Fixed-line broadband subscribers 2004 2010
Table 21 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate 1997 - 2015
Table 22 Historic - Fixed-line subscribers 2004 2009
Table 23 Historic - Fixed lines in service and penetration 1996 2009
Table 24 Historic - MTN Sudan mobile subscribers 2006 2009
Table 25 Historic - Sudatel financial data 2008 2009
Table 26 Historic - Increase in international internet bandwidth 2004 2009
Chart 1 Overall Africa view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita 2018
Chart 2 North Africa - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
Chart 3 Africa Middle-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Challengers)
Chart 4 North Africa Telecoms Maturity Index by country
Chart 5 North Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
Chart 6 North Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates
Chart 7 Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Chart 8 Change in the share of mobile subscribers by operator 2011 2020
Chart 9 Growth in SMS traffic 2010 2018
Chart 10 Change in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers by operator 2015 2019
Chart 11 Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Chart 12 Growth in the number of Zain Sudan's mobile subscribers 2010 2020
Chart 13 Growth in Zain Sudan's financial data ($ million) 2013 2020
Chart 14 Development of Zain Sudan's financial data (SDG million) 2015 2020
Chart 15 Growth in the number of MTN Sudan's subscribers 2010 2020
Chart 16 Development of MTN Sudan's financial data (ZAR million) 2013 2020
Chart 17 Growth in the number of Sudani's mobile subscribers 2011 2019
Chart 18 Growth in the number of fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Chart 19 Development of Sudatel's financial data ($ million) 2010 2020
Chart 20 Growth in the number of fixed lines in service and penetration 2010 2025
Chart 21 Increase in international internet bandwidth 2004 2017
Exhibit 1 Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
Exhibit 2 North Africa - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
Exhibit 3 2Africa submarine cable
Exhibit 4 2Africa landing stations
Following a referendum, in mid-2011 oil-rich South Sudan became the world’s youngest independent state. Having been beyond the central government’s control and deprived of development, it is establishing its own independent telecommunications sector, creating new opportunities for service providers and equipment suppliers.
Three quarters of the population are in the North where mobile market penetration is far higher. The North has a large, relatively well-equipped telecommunications system by regional standards, including a national fibre optic backbone and international fibre connections. The chronically poor performing economy has hindered the ability of operators to improve revenue from services and sufficiently invest in infrastructure upgrades, while social unrest in South Sudan continues to impose practical difficulties for telecom operators.
The national telco, Sudatel was privatised more than a decade ago, with major shares and management control now held by Etisalat of the UAE and by Qatar Telecom. It is also listed on several regional stock exchanges. The company presided over the world’s fastest growing fixed-line market until it started substituting traditional copper lines with CDMA2000 fixed-wireless access in 2005.
Competition in the fixed-line market comes from Canartel, which is also majority-owned by Etisalat. The operator also opted for CDMA2000 technology to cost effectively roll out fixed services and, like Sudatel, offers wireless broadband services through this network, having upgraded to the EV-DO standard. The company is lobbying for a licence to offer mobile services as well but is meeting resistance from the other operators.
The market for mobile internet services is flourishing, and traffic for services such as SMS more than tripled in the year to June 2013.