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Malawi - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
[June 07, 2022]

Malawi - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Sydney, June 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Just released, this edition of BuddeComm report outlines the latest developments and key trends in the telecoms markets. -

A national fibre backbone has been built to connect all 28 districts in the country. Started in May 2017, the first phase of the project, running to 1,320km, was completed in 2018. The second phase, running to 2,800km, was started in June 2021. This phase also included a new data centre, and connected an additional 29 cities.

Malawi is linked to the national telecom network of Tanzania, and through this it has onward connectivity to Mozambique, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia.

However, capacity remains low and as a result the wholesale price for bandwidth is high, despite several successful orders obliging the telcos to reduce costs for end-users.

An additional burden is the high tax for telecom services. The 17.5% tax on mobile phone sales introduced in 2015 is considered one of the main reasons why Malawi has low smartphone take-up. In January 2022 the Malawi Cofederations of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the ICT Association of Malawi called on the government to reduce taxes imposed on ICT services. These taxes, together with spectrum fees and annual licence fees paid by operators, have raised the cost of internet services and thus contributed to them being unaffordable for a significant proportion of the population.

The telecom regulator in August 2021 published a report which noted the economic boost to be gained if the estimated two million people who had no access to the internet were connected, so enabling them to take part in the digital economy. The report influenced the government to adopt a five-year universal services strategy, under which some 720,000 Malawians are to be connected to broadband, while 1,300 institutions will be provided with Wi-Fi.

Key developments:

  • TNM Mpamba m-money service partners with Mastercard;
  • Telecom regulator launches the five-year Universal Service Fund (USF) Strategic Plan;
  • Telcos agree to reduce cost of mobile data packages;
  • Government urged to reduce rate on several ICT taxes contributing to high cost of internet services;
  • TNM partners with the PPPC to provide free wireless Internet services nationally;
  • Government begins review of the National ICT policy and the Malawi Digital Broadcasting policy;
  • Airtel Africa completes sale of its tower unit in Malawi to Helios Towers;
  • Regulator uses USF to install mobile towers in rural areas, to be leased to Airtel Malawi and MTL for a fee;
  • Regulator leans on Universal Access Fund to improve mobile services to rural areas;
  • Report updates include recent market developments, regulator’s market report for 2020, operator data to Q4 2021, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Malawi Telecommunications (MTL), Access Communications (ACL), Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM), G-Mobile (GAIN), Celcom, ESCOM, MalawiNet, MTL Online, Skyband, Globe Internet, Broadmax, Burco

Read the full report:

Nicolas Bombourg: [email protected]
Europe office: +44 207 097 1241
Oceania Office: +61 280 767 665

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