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Malawi Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband Statistics and Analyses 2018: Malawi's Network Operators Adjust to SIM Card Registration Deadline –

Malawi Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband Statistics and Analyses 2018: Malawi's Network Operators Adjust to SIM Card Registration Deadline –

– Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses”

report has been added to’s

Malawi’s network operators adjust to SIM card registration deadline.

Malawi is one of the world’s least developed and poorest countries
globally and has suffered from inconsistent economic growth in recent
years. Businesses endured high inflation and a rapidly depreciating
currency in 2015 and 2016, though the economy has since rebounded, with
GDP expected to have grown 3.5% in 2018, and the currency has
stabilised. These factors have enabled telecom operators to fund network
upgrades, with the result that considerable investment has been
channelled into fixed-line and mobile infrastructure upgrades in recent

Mobile penetration remains low in comparison to the regional average and
so there are considerable opportunities for further growth, particularly
in the mobile broadband sector. TMN was the first operator to launch an
LTE-A service, followed by Airtel Malawi in January 2018. The market
remains a duopoly between these two operators given the failure of
G-Mobile and Celcom Malawi to launch services. However, there is
expectation that Lacell Private (operating under the Smart Mobile brand)
will provide some competition and encourage a reduction in end-user
prices. In a bid to discourage crime the regulator has imposed SIM card
registration, effective for all new cards since July 2018.

To encourage additional market competition, the government has followed
in the footsteps of several of its neighbours and introduced a converged
licensing regime which allows the two fixed-line operators, Malawi
Telecommunications (MTL) and Access Communications (ACL), to enter the
mobile market as well. The converged licensing regime was revised and
came into force in September 2016.

The internet sector is reasonably competitive, with about 50 licensed
ISPs, though the limited availability and high cost of international
bandwidth has held back growth and kept broadband access prices among
the highest in the region. DSL services are available. The incumbent in
late 2017 closed down the CDMA network, while the WiMAX component was
closed down in early 2018.

A national fibre backbone is nearing completion, while the country
recently gained access to international submarine fibre optic cables via
a transit link from neighbouring countries.

Key Developments:

  • New SIM cards required registration process;
  • Airtel Malawi launches LTE services;
  • Mobile Termination Rates begin glide path reduction through to 2020;
    MTL switches off its CDMA network;
  • World Bank provides $72.4 million to help Malawi engage in the digital
  • Regulators of Zambia and Malawi sign MoU related to cooperative
    efforts in the telecom and broadcasting sectors;
  • TNM boasts 46% increase in net profit for H1 2018;
  • TNM launches LTE-A services;
  • National Fibre Backbone Project nears completion;
  • Reserve Bank of Malawi reports on m-payment progress;
  • Regulator develops Universal Access Fund (UAF) to deliver mobile
    services to rural areas;
  • White space spectrum trials to increase broadband availability;
  • Report updates include recent market developments, operator data to Q2

Companies Mentioned

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

For more information about this report visit

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