The Republic of Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues, 560 kilometres (350 mi) east of Mauritius, and the outer islands (Agaléga, St. Brandon and two disputed territories). A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has one of Africa’s highest per capita incomes.
The Internet penetration rate was % in 2017. LTE, HSPA and EV-DO based 3G services compete with fixed-line DSL and other wireless broadband offerings, including WiMAX. FttC and FttP rollouts are in progress, delivering 100Mb/s connections to the residential sector and options for a 1Gb/s services for businesses.
All sectors of the market in Mauritius are open to competition. Served by a modern, digital fixed-line network, fibre optic submarine cables for international connectivity, three mobile networks, and a number of broadband and other service providers, Mauritius is successfully pursuing a policy to make telecommunications the fifth pillar of its economy, and to become a regional telecom hub. The mobile market, with penetration at 146% by mid-2016, is migrating from voice to data services. There are three GSM network operators. The highest growth rates are currently seen in the mobile broadband sector, where Mauritius Telecom is investing more than Rs5 billion to fast-track national FttP deployment by the end of 2017.
Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has undergone a remarkable economic transformation from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a diversified, upper middle-income economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. Mauritius has achieved steady growth over the last several decades, resulting in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure.
The economy currently depends on sugar, tourism, textiles and apparel, and financial services, but is expanding into fish processing, information and communications technology, and hospitality and property development. The government’s development strategy centers on creating vertical and horizontal clusters of development in these sectors. Mauritius has attracted more than 32,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India, South Africa, and China. Investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius continues to rank first in sub-Saharan Africa on the World Bank’s Doing Business Report.
Mauritius Telecom was founded in July 1992 by a merger (kreshnee & Hemanjali) between the former Overseas Telecommunications Services Ltd and Mauritius Telecommunication Services Ltd. As from that date, Mauritius Telecom became the major provider of voice, mobile, Internet and data communication services in Mauritius. It has been partially privatised and now benefits from the scale and technical prowess of Orange Group, which holds a 40% interest in the operator. In 2013, Mauritius Telecom introduced fiber optic communication technology in the country.