Botswana mobile competition to stiffen as operators focus on affordable data bundles

Competition in the Botswana mobile market is expected to stiffen as operators focus on affordable data bundles and VAS to drive revenue, a new Country Intelligence Report by GlobalData has stated. However, the report said the telecom services revenue in Botswana will grow at a sluggish CAGR of 0.02% (3.3% in local currency terms) during 2016-2021, due to currency depreciation and the impact of mobile and fixed voice revenue decline.

It said planned expansion of 3G/4G services and the subsequent rise in consumption of high-bandwidth content over mobile devices will drive mobile data revenue in the coming years. Along with mobile data, fixed Internet services will be a key growth driver for the market, expanding at a CAGR of 7.5% over 2016-2021.

“Botswana: Competition to Stiffen in the Mobile Market as Operators Focus on Affordable Data Bundles and VAS to Drive Revenue”, a new Country Intelligence Report by GlobalData, provides an executive-level overview of the telecommunications market in Botswana today, with detailed forecasts of key indicators up to 2021.

Published annually, the report provides detailed analysis of the near-term opportunities, competitive dynamics and evolution of demand by service type and technology/platform across the fixed telephony, broadband and mobile sectors, as well as a review of key regulatory trends.

The report also noted that over the next five years, operators should continue to focus on network investments and upgrades and tap into opportunities arising from growth in the mobile data segment. Expansion of 3G/4G networks and supporting the government’s national broadband strategy will also present significant opportunities for both vendors and investors.

The Country Intelligence Report provides in-depth analysis amongst others the regional context: telecom market size and trends in Botswana compared with other countries in the region, economic, demographic and political context in Botswana. It also analyses the regulatory environment and trends: a review of the regulatory setting and agenda for the next 18-24 months as well as relevant developments pertaining to spectrum licensing, national broadband plans, number portability and more.

The overall telecom services revenue in Botswana will grow at a sluggish CAGR of 0.02% (3.3% in local currency terms) during 2016-2021. The fixed/mobile revenue split will be dominated by the mobile segment through the 2016-2021 period and will account for 84.9% of overall service revenue by 2021.

On the other hand, mobile data revenue will continue to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% during 2016-2021, driven by the rise in 3G/4G and smartphone adoption and the increase in mobile data usage.

The 2G continues to be the most used technology, accounting for 55.4% of total mobile subscriptions in 2016 but is losing share to 3G and 4G technologies, which will altogether represent 68.7% of the subscriptions by 2021. Being in its early stages of adoption, 4G is expected to record the fastest CAGR , at 71.5%, over the 2016-2021 period, to reach 433,000 subscriptions by 2021.

Mascom and BTC (the merged brand for BTCL and beMOBILE) accounted for 71.7% of total service revenue in 2016. Mascom will continue to maintain its leadership position in the telecom market through 2021. Both operators will seek to improve coverage and quality of their wireless networks in order to strengthen their position in the marketplace.