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The Telecom Market in Mozambique - and what Telecom26 is up to there…

Last week we wrote about Loon’s commercial launch in Kenya and how its balloons are bringing much-needed broadband connectivity to rural areas. And previously we covered what Telecom26 is up to Zimbabwe.  

This week we will take a look at the telecom market in Mozambique, another country in Africa where Telecom26 has a strong presence with our IoT SIM cards being by healthcare professionals to help diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as Ebola, HIV, TB and, most recently, COVID-19.

Mozambique is the 35th largest country in the world (801,590 km2 (309,500 sq mi) and lies in Southern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east,  Tanzania to the north,  Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Eswatini (Swaziland) and South Africa to the southwest.

Its population of 30 million are mostly employed in subsistence farming and, according to this report from Trading Economics, the GDP per capita in Mozambique was last recorded at US$587 in 2019, equivalent to 5% of the world's average.

In its 2020 report about the telecoms market in Mozambique, Budde research wrote that, although delayed by the long civil war (which lasted from 1977-92 after the country gained independence from Portugal in 1975), “Mozambique was one of the first countries in the region to embark upon telecom reform and open the sector to competition…however mobile, fixed-line and broadband penetration rates remain far below the average for the region”.

Although last year apparently Mozambique’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications noted that the proportion of the Mozambican population reached by telecommunication services had expanded from 65 percent in 2014 to 85 percent in late 2019.

The telecoms market in Mozambique now has three operators - Vodacom, Movitel and Mozambique Telecom (Tmcel) - with universal licenses enabling them to offer all types of telephony and data services.

The Government has been keen to show its commitment to expanding the telecom sector, injecting capital into the sector through its Universal Access Service Fund financed by a 1% level on the annual gross revenue of the operators. This March 2020 story on the Developing Telecoms news site discusses a new project to provide 20mbps to 27 sites across 10 districts to connect businesses and farmers.

Vodacom has also recently announced that it will be using Loon’s balloon-powered internet solution to provide a 4G service for people living and working in remote parts of the country.

COVID-19 in Mozambique

The Government of Mozambique was quick to act declaring a national State of Emergency, which will remain in place until 30 September and imposed stringent restrictions on movement and gatherings. By the middle of July, the country had recorded 1,219 cases with just nine deaths.

However, sadly the country has been waging a much longer battle against more lethal infectious diseases such as TB, Ebola and HIV. 

Telecom26 and IoT in Mozambique

Telecom26 has been helping its long-term customer, SystemOne, to rollout TB, HIV, Ebola - and now COVID-19 - testing programmes across Mozambique.

Key to the success of SystemOne’s testing programme is reliable connectivity; speed of diagnosis and treatment is often the difference between life and death.

The traditional route is to buy local SIMs to provide device connectivity. Unfortunately, this limits users to one MNO - and adds juggling multiple SIMs across devices to find the strongest local network to a long list of headaches.

Telecom26’s IoT SIM card service was developed with the specific goal of improving connectivity in remote areas. Our IoT SIM cards enable devices to automatically access and switch between multiple networks both in-country and across borders thus removing the need to worry about the coverage of a single MNO, or the existence of roaming alliances. Multiple-IMSI profiles are pre-loaded on every SIM allowing for simple remote reconfiguration if the primary network has poor or no service.

Telecom26 has been providing its IoT SIM cards to SystemOne’s operations across both Africa and Asia for the past two years. Our SIMs are compatible with 1100 cellular networks from over 620 mobile operators in more than 220 countries. You can read more about our Global Roaming Service here.

Testing Our New Routers

In addition, SystemOne is trialling Telecom26’s multi-SIM routers in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. These enable SystemOne’s diagnostics devices to access connectivity and automatically switch between multiple cellular and satellite networks - and any wifi or LANs - so that they always use the best performing connected network.

You can read more about our work with SystemOne here.

If you have any questions about the telecom market in Mozambique, or need help with connectivity there, or in any other country in Africa or around the world then please Get In Touch.

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