South African fibercos innovate with prepaid offers tailored to different household incomes

In February 2024, Starlink cut off hundreds of customers in South Africa. Although the American brand is not officially active in the country, the Mozambique company Starsat resells the US company's equipment to private individuals. Between 250 and 300 users were affected by this cut-off, justified by Starlink as being an illegal resale and use of its service.  For many years now, access to the internet, and more particularly to fixed broadband, has been a major stake for the populations in Sub-Saharan Africa. With less than 10% of the population connected to fixed networks, the various countries in the region are struggling to develop their infrastructures. The development of fixed broadband is driven by a growing demand for digital connectivity such as the access to OTT platforms, or the development of Smart TVs and streaming devices  As nations across the region strive to bridge the digital divide, the stakes have never been higher, with the potential to unlock socio-economic growth, foster innovation, and enhance the overall quality of life for its inhabitants. South Africa, as a trailblazer in this field, consistently leads the way in pioneering new innovations. The country's fiber rollout market was initially highly competitive, marked by mergers and acquisitions between players. Presently, a paradigm shift is evident. As fiber networks progress, Fiber Network Operators (FNOs) are striving to extend their reach to all demographic segments by introducing prepaid offerings tailored to individual income levels. What is the potential inherent in this particular type of offer? To what extent can this model be implemented on a regional scale? In light of South Africa's reluctance to issue a license to the American company Starlink, despite its rapid regional development, what alternative solutions are available? Only around 1% of the population was connected to fiber at Q423 At the end of 2021, it was estimated that the number of fiber subscribers would increase by 24% by 2023 to reach 3.5 million. This number has indeed been substantiated with the recorded number of fiber subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa standing at 3.7 million at Q4 2023, even surpassing the previous estimate by 5%. Over the span of one year, the number of fiber subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa has risen by 19%. Notably, South Africa leads the group of countries with the highest concentration of fiber subscribers (around 41% of the region’s total fiber subscribers). In contrast, the number of xDSL subscribers has seen a marginal increase from 1.67 million in 2022 to 1.74 million in 2023, reflecting a slight 5% uptick. Ethiopia leads among countries with the highest xDSL subscribers at 30%, followed by South Africa at 15%.  Fiber has indeed the most attractive amortization in the long term for operators. Many internet...

The related data and analysis are included into:

Market Intelligence Services

Latest Research

array(2) {
  [0]=>
  string(7) "telecom"
  [1]=>
  string(9) "broadband"
}
array(2) {
  [0]=>
  string(7) "Telecom"
  [1]=>
  string(9) "Broadband"
}

Digital Events & Webinars