Table of Contents
Vodacom Lesotho launches m-health service using M-Pesa
Telecom services in Lesotho are managed by a privatised national operator, Econet Telecom Lesotho (ETL). There is effective competition in the mobile sector between South Africa-based Vodacom and ETL, though mobile market penetration remains below the regional average.
Fixed-line teledensity is also low, but the fixed network has gained value since DSL services were launched in 2007. In parallel, ETL has rolled out a CDMA2000 fixed-wireless network, upgraded with EV-DO technology, to provide fixed-line and wireless broadband services. In addition, the company has introduced a fixed-mobile convergence product based on its GSM network and capitalising on its multi-platform capabilities.
Vodacom was the first operator to introduce mobile broadband services in the country, based on HSPA technology. In parallel, the company has rolled out a WiMAX network. Several other internet service providers have rolled out their own wireless infrastructure. In late 2014 Vodacom also launched commercial services based on LTE technology.
Although landlocked, Lesotho has benefited from connectivity to the several submarine fibre optic cables which land on African east and west coasts. These quadrupled international bandwidth in 2012, and contributed to lower end-user prices.
Vodacom Foundation launched m-health service facilitated by M-Pesa; regulator considers imposing SIM card registration; ETL launches 100Mb/s FttP services; ETL moving to per second billing; improved internet connectivity following landing of international cables; regulator revokes BTL's telecom licence; ETL invests in a GPON network; Universal Service Agency expanding base tower infrastructure in remote areas; report update includes ITU statistics, operator data to Q2 2016, recent market developments.
Market penetration rates in Lesotho's telecoms sector end-2016 (e)
Penetration of telecoms services: | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 1.7%
Internet users | 20.6%
Mobile SIM (population) | 109%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)
Companies mentioned in this report:
Telecom Lesotho, Econet Ezi-Cel, Vodacom Lesotho, Eskom, Comnet.
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