This report raises and discusses issues relevant to the future of Telecoms in South Africa. There are so many significant developments and they are so closely inter-connected, as well as so many different perspectives from which to view these developments that three different, but complementary approaches have been taken.

  • Key Trends (or Developments) are identified and given focus.
  • The outlook for each of a number of central infrastructural elements is then discussed.
  • The Report concludes with the perspectives of a number of a sample of leaders in the industry, both local and abroad.


Scope and Approach

Market focus

  • An overall view on the Telecoms sector within the 5-year time horizon, with an infrastructure emphasis.

Key research components

  • Key trends and key development in important thematic areas.
  • High level review of global trends and developments with an application to these trends into the local market so as to highlight local impact, opportunities and threats.


  • Extensive secondary research and a level of primary inputs from key industry leaders
  • Synthesis of specific and overall BMIT research and analysis to determine likely outcomes, based on experience of the whole South African market in terms of the value chain and legislative environment.


Table of Contents

Scope and Approach

Report Overview

5G as the “Poster Child” of the Telecoms Future

Report outline

Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

Key Industry Trends

  • Key Trends and Developments – Introduction
  • Trend #1 : Covid-19 Pandemic
  • Trend #2: US-China Dynamic
  • Trend # 3: Global Trade of Digital Enabled Services
  • Trend #4 : Changing Investor Appetite
  • Trend #5 : Quantum shift in ICT capabilities
  • Trend #6: Cloudification
  • Trend #7: Intelligent Automation
  • Trend #8: Performance sensitive applications
  • Trend #9: Open Sourcing
  • Trend #10: Software Defined Networks and Virtualisation
  • Trend #11: Proliferation of IoT-Based Solutions
  • Trend #12: Growth in Video Based Demand
  • Trend #13: Changing Skills Requirements
  • Trend #14: Concerns over energy demand and the environment
  • Trend 15: Increasing Cybersecurity Threats
  • Trend #16: Proactive and Agile Governance
  • Other Issues worth National Consideration
  • ‘Pulling it all together’

Infrastructure Detail

  • Infrastructure – Areas Covered in this Section
  • Submarine Fibre Cables – Introduction
  • Submarine Fibre Cables – Additional Capacity
  • Satellite
  • LEO/MEO Satellite Status Detail
  • National terrestrial fibre
  • Broadband Access – Technology/Service Options
  • Mobile networks: Extensive coverage and penetration
  • SA installed base of broadband capable devices
  • SA broadband uptake by access type (excluding handsets)
  • Internet Access beyond Cellphone in Rural Households
  • Primary Internet Access in Urban Households
  • Total SA high-usage connections
  • Public and Commercial Wi-Fi in South Africa
  • Fixed-Wireless and Wi-Fi
  • The Wi-Fi Roadmap
  • Dynamic Spectrum Assignment (and TVWS)
  • The mobile future – 5G
  • Short Term – Enhanced Mobile Broadband
  • Sharing 5G coverage is almost essential for competition in the high bands
  • 5G : The tower densification needed for mm wave
  • 5G business case – SA vs US ROI
  • Medium Term – Massive Machine Type Communications
  • Long Term – URLL Communications
  • Longer Term – URLL: Further Considerations
  • 5G outlook by use case
  • New generation SIM cards
  • Data Centres – Cloud Deployment Models
  • Data Centres – Enterprise Migration to Cloud
  • Global Cloud Competitive Positioning
  • Competitive Positioning in the SA Context
  • Data Centres – a few current sub-trends
  • Data Centres within the ‘shift to the edge’ Scenario
  • Data Centres and Energy Efficiencies
  • Data Centres and Renewable Energies

Industry Views on the Future

  • Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM (International)
  • Dietlof Mare, CEO of Vumatel
  • Thinus Mulder, CEO of Dark Fibre Africa
  • Rudy van Staden, CEO of RSAWeb


Trend #1: Covid-19 Pandemic – Early Impact


Deliverables and format

  • PDF Power Point format
  • Clients are also entitled to a presentation/workshop in Johannesburg (may be combined with other topics at BMIT’s discretion)

Further information

For further information and details on how to subscribe to this research please contact Anita Mathews on 011 540 8000 | 082 466 2317 |