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Mauritius has highest ICT development index in Africa

Mauritius has highest ICT development index in Africa.

Mauritius has revamped its ICT industry and has retained its position as the African country with the highest ICT development index. This is according to research by Frost & Sullivan in its report The Telecommunications Market in Southern Africa – Key Fixed and Mobile Market Indicators.

Key findings of the report include:

• The launch of Internet exchange points (IXPs) in Namibia and Swaziland to efficiently manage Internet traffic and converged licensing policies that are pushing telecommunications service providers to offer Internet services are among the key trends shaping the Internet services market in Southern Africa.

• In the broadband services market, broadband providers are making significant investments in fibre technology. Broadband service providers are adopting this technology for the benefits it provides in terms of scalability, flexibility, and reliability.

• The South African telecommunications market is characterised by an array of mergers and acquisitions. The key strategic alliances are the Vodacom-Neotel and Telkom Business Connexion (BCX) acquisitions.

• Vodacom launched commercial voice-over-Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) calls for the first time in South Africa. As a result, Vodacom's subscribers will be able to make calls over the Wi-Fi network, similar to most other voice carriers, with no data usage costs incurred.

• Telecommunications service providers are engaging in strategic alliances with fibre network infrastructure providers to offer FTTH services to their subscribers. For instance, MTN South Africa acquired MultiChoice's Smart Village in order to accelerate its FTTH strategy and strengthen its presence in the enterprise space.

• Telecommunications providers are acquiring ISPs across the region in the belief that this move will strengthen their present broadband and Internet services markets. For instance, Vox Telecom acquired Frogfoot Networks in South Africa; Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) acquired Burco in Malawi; and CEC Liquid Telecom acquired Realtime Technology Alliance in Zambia.

• The integration of the telecommunications, banking, eCommerce, and insurance industries is redefining the business models of telecommunications providers in the region.

Leading from the front

Mauritius is home to three mobile operators including Emtel, Orange and Mahanagar Telephone Mauritius. This is in addition to the fixed phone operator, Mauritius Telecom.

The establishment of a new techno park, a third submarine fibre optic cable as well as enhanced integration of ICT and business in the country is boosting competitiveness in the Information Technology sector.

"Mauritius continues to retain the highest ICT development index (IDI) rank (out of countries in southern Africa) and the highest networked readiness index (NRI) rank in the Southern African region," the research adds.

The country's ICT strength is in line with the government's Smart Mauritius Strategy. The World Economic Forum last year identified Mauritius as the third best country when it comes to telecom and internet connectivity costs in its Global Information Technology Report.

However, the report says Mauritius scores low in infrastructure and digital content after it scored 77 out of 140 countries in the rankings.

Although Mauritius has made strides, the Frost & Sullivan report also identifies South Africa and Botswana as having advanced telecommunications markets.

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