The Mauritian mobile communications market has seen significant investments in the infrastructure development and data segments. These are areas with immense growth potential due to the saturation of voice services.
"The submarine cables that are being deployed will mitigate bandwidth shortages witnessed in the country," says Frost & Sullivan ICT analyst Mervin Miemoukanda. "The key drivers of this market are high disposable income, a vibrant tourism industry, the increasing demand for mobile broadband and multimedia, and the diminishing costs of handsets."
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the Mauritian mobile communications market earned revenues of $174-million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $271-million in 2016. The technologies covered in this study are 2G (CDMA/TDMA/GSM), 2.5G (GPRS/EDGE), 3G (CDMA2000/WCDMA) and 4G (fully IP-based integrated system).
"The low levels of Internet and fixed-line penetration rates in Mauritius mean that there are still growth opportunities in the country," says Miemoukanda. "Furthermore, the mobile communication market has witnessed significant growth in terms of subscribers after the liberalisation of the country's telecommunications market in 2003."
However, with a mobile penetration rate of 82% in 2009, the Mauritian mobile communications market is near saturation. Competition is intense and operators find it challenging to retain their customers and acquire new ones.
"The absence of substantial subscriber growth in the future will lead to higher churn rates and increasing operator marketing expenses to mitigate it," says Miemoukanda. "Therefore, operators need to find new methods to maintain their margins at the existing levels."
The mobile operators are expected to improve the quality of services with continuous infrastructure investment such as call-switching capacity to develop innovative solutions like SMS-based services, and to initiate managed services by outsourcing non-core businesses such as network maintenances. These strategies help step-up the demand for mobile services and consequently the subscriber and revenue growth.
"Operators should also look at methods to offset the loss in voice revenues by promoting infrastructure sharing," concludes Miemoukanda.