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The mobile telephony sector has seen substantial growth of subscriptions from over 800 000 in 2006 to over 3.4million in 2015, research has revealed. Stockbrokers Botswana’s latest research on the Botswana Telecommunications Limited (BTCL) reveals that the 823 070 to 3 405 887 represents a 10-year Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.3 percent. 

Mascom has the largest market share in the mobile telephony sector, with an estimated 55 percent, followed by Orange with an estimated 28 percent, according to the research done by Tshepo Setlhare.  BTCL’s beMOBILE has an estimated 17 percent market share, which however shows steady growth since its launch in April 2008. It had a subscriber base of 507 321 as at January 2016.

“BTCL expects to spend about P110 million developing its beMOBILE arm during the year. This will be done on the backdrop of a one percent Universal Access and Service levy on all identified mobile operators to raise funds towards the Universal Access and Service Fund,” reads the research by Setlhare.

Much of beMOBILE’s growth, which has seen it capture a meaningful share of Botswana’s mobile market is attributable to its low tariff rates and wider network coverage of the three service providers.BOCRA’s annual report of 2015 shows there were 3.41million mobile subscriptions in 2015, amounting to a year-on-year growth of 6.27 percent from 2014.

The market share between prepaid and post-paid mobile telephony subscriptions is 98 percent and two percent, respectively. Mobile penetration, measured by tele-density, was estimated at 168 percent in March 2015 compared to 158 percent in March 2014 higher than Sub-Saharan Africa’s average mobile penetration of 82.1 percent. It is estimated that the mobile telephony networks cover at least 95 percent of the population with varying network capabilities of 2.5G, 3G and 4G.

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