Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Telecommunications Overview

The telecommunications infrastructure in Mozambique is largely confined to urban areas and its service is predominantly mobile. It is dominated by the three existing mobile operators: Vodacom (private – https://vm.co.mz/), Movitel (private – https://movitel.co.mz/), and Mcel (state-owned – http://www.mcel.co.mz/) and the incumbent fixed operator TDM (Telecomunicações de Moçambique, state-owned – http://www.tdm.mz/). Mcel and TDM are being merged in an effort to combine business activities, aiming to improve the cost-efficiency of state-owned companies, i.e. improving performance with lower costs.

Mozambique has one of the lowest level of fixed telephony penetration in the region. Less than 2% of households are subscribers of landline communications. In contrast, the mobile market keeps growing at an average rate of 26% per year, and covers over 65% of the population.

Mobile broadband penetration (3G) is estimated at approximately 30%, mainly in urban areas, because most of Mozambique’s inhabitants (up to 70%) live in rural areas where high costs and low returns make it commercially unattractive for mobile operators to roll out mobile broadband services. However, new entrant Movitel has been rolling out its network aggressively in rural areas and already offers 3G-based voice services and broadband, though to a small extent.

4G services are not yet available.

Some urban areas of Mozambique are benefiting from investment in fibre optics networks by commercial players, but this is still limited to very dense urban areas in the larger cities.

Mozambique is well-served by international connectivity and, in general, there do not appear to be any concerns regarding the pricing or availability of international connectivity. However, it can be expensive to access international connectivity through backhaul service providers.

Factors such as poor network quality, a lack of standardised network specifications, high backbone network pricing, unbalanced spectrum charging mechanisms and a wide range of economic factors have resulted in a lack of infrastructure sharing, duplication of backbone networks and a lack of investment in telecommunications networks in rural areas to provide voice and broadband services.

Further reform of the legal and regulatory framework is underway to increase competition, strengthen sector governance, reorganise state-owned operating companies, and extend services to all.

For more information on telecoms contacts, please see the following link: 4.8 Additional Services Contact List

 

Telephone Services

Is there an existing landline telephone network?

Yes

Does it allow international calls?

Yes  

Number and Length of Downtime Periods (on average)

 Downtime periods are rare.

Mobile Phone Providers

  • Mcel
  • Vodacom
  • Movitel

Approximate Percentage of National Coverage

80%-90% dial-up connection.
Only 30%-35% mobile broadband penetration.


Telecommunications Regulations

Mozambique’s Communications Regulatory Authority is the “Instituto Nacional das Communicações de Moçambique” (INCM – http://www.incm.gov.mz/home), which falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC). The INCM is responsible for defining policies and strategies, and serving as an arbitrator and guarantor of law enforcement.

 

Regulations on Usage and Import

 

Regulations in Place?

Regulating Authority

Satellite

 Yes

INCM

HF Radio

Yes

INCM

Ordinary licence required.

Import regulation not applicable.

UHF/VHF/HF Radio: Handheld, Base and Mobile

Yes

INCM

Ordinary licence required.

Import regulation not applicable.

UHF/VHF Repeaters

Yes

INCM

Ordinary licence required.

Import regulation not applicable.

GPS

No

 

VSAT

Yes

INCM

Ordinary licence required.

Import regulation not applicable.

Individual Network Operator Licenses Required

 

Frequency Licenses Required

It is necessary to obtain authorisation from the National Institute of Telecommunications to obtain a frequency license for all type of communications (VSAT, HF, VHF).


Existing Humanitarian Telecoms Systems

WFP has the most extensive telecommunications network with repeaters spread countrywide. Other large networks belong to UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF and FAO.

Existing UN Telecommunication Systems

 

WFP

UNICEF

UNHCR

FAO

UNDP

WHO

VHF Frequencies

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

HF Frequencies

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Locations of Repeaters

Countrywide

Maputo

Nampula

Maputo

Maputo

No

VSAT

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Internet connectivity is available in most of the country, mainly through mobile service providers. In dense urban areas, there is an increased utilisation of fibre optic connections. 4G connections are not yet available. A wide range of private companies are able to provide internet services.

Internet Service Providers

Are there ISPs available?

Yes: TVCabo, Mcel/Teledata, Movitel, Vodacom.

If yes, are they privately or government owned?

Private and state-owned

Dial-up only?

No

Fibre optics exist in urban areas, and/or VSat.

Approximate Rates (local currency and USD - $)

Dial-up

n/a

Broadband

 

Max Leasable ‘Dedicated’ Bandwidth

 15 GB

 

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)

The first mobile service provider was Mcel (state-owned), which was followed by Vodacom and more recently Movitel, both being private. Mcel and Vodacom have targeted first the corporate sector, whilst Movitel’s strategy aims at the population at large, mainly in rural areas. Vodacom and Movitel have been quite reliable.  In contrast, Mcel has had some problems lately, but the merge with TDM should improve the provision of services in the near future.

The best mobile money service provider is Vodacom (MPesa), followed by Mcel (MKesh). The Movitel service (e-Mola) is still having teething problems. For more information, please check the following websites:

Mcel: http://www.mcel.co.mz/

Vodacom: https://vm.co.mz/

Movitel: https://movitel.co.mz/

For information on MNOs please visit the GSM Association website.


Company


Network Strength by Area


Contracted for Humanitarian or Government Cash Transfer

Programmes?

Services Offered

(i.e. Merchant Payment,

Bulk Disbursement,

Receive & Make Payment)

Mcel

27%

No

Yes (MKesh)

Vodacom

26%

Yes

Yes (MPesa)

Movitel

47%

No

Yes (e-Mola)