Mozambique is a poor, sparsely populated country with high fertility and mortality rates and a rapidly growing youthful population. A fair telecommunications system is nevertheless shackled with a heavy state presence, lack of competition, and high operating costs and charges. Extremely low teledensity in the fixed-line sector contrasts with rapid growth in the mobile-cellular network.
The Internet penetration rate remains extremely low, with just 7.5% by mid-2016. Less than 0.05% of all IP addresses have been ever allocated in the area. In early 2014 packages ranged from 512 kbit/s with a 6GB cap for MTN750 to 4 Mbit/s with a 43GB cap for MTN4300. On the other hand, Mozambique was the first African country to offer broadband wireless services using WiMax.
Stagnation in the fixed-line network in Mozambique contrasts with rapid growth in the mobile-cellular network. Cellular coverage now includes all the main cities and key roads, including those from Maputo to the South African and Swaziland borders, the national highway through Gaza and Inhambane provinces, the Beira corridor, and from Nampula to Nacala. Fixed-line teledensity is very low, and despite significant growth in mobile-cellular services, mobile teledensity also remains low at about 35 per 100 persons (2011). ADSL Internet access is available for home and business customers. The National Communications Institute of Mozambique (INCM) regulates and supervises the communications sector.
At independence in 1975, Mozambique was one of the world’s poorest countries. Socialist policies, economic mismanagement, and a brutal civil war from 1977 to 1992 further impoverished the country. In 1987, the government embarked on a series of macroeconomic reforms designed to stabilize the economy. Fiscal reforms, including the introduction of a value-added tax and reform of the customs service, have improved the government’s revenue collection abilities.
In spite of these gains, more than half the population remains below the poverty line. Subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the country’s work force. Citizens rioted in September 2010 after fuel, water, electricity, and bread price increases were announced. In an attempt to lessen the negative impact on the population, the government implemented subsidies, decreased taxes and tariffs, and instituted other fiscal measures.
Mozambique’s ability to attract large investment projects in natural resources is expected to sustain high growth rates in coming years although weaker global demand for commodities is likely to weaken expected revenues from these vast resources, including natural gas, coal, titanium, and hydroelectric capacity.
Telecomunicações de Moçambique (TDM) is Mozambique’s national fixed-line operator. It was privatised in 2002, with the State keeping 80% of shares. The company’s focus is placed on developing and upgrading connectivity services in the country, particularly in the areas of broadband Internet, wireless telephony services (CDMA) and data services (dedicated Internet access and development of internal networks).
RELEVANT INTERNET EXCHANGE POINTS
Moz-ix – Mozambique Internet Exchange (Maputo)
Maluana Data Centre
Maluana Science and Technology Park
Manhiça district, Maputo