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The country was one of the first in the region to reform its telecommunications landscape, immediately after a long civil war ended in 1992. The telephone market is characterized by the stagnation in the fixed-line network contrasts with rapid growth in the mobile-cellular network.

Licenses & Regulations

The country’s telecom regulator is Instituto Nacional de Telecomunicações de Moçambique.

Fixed Lines

The fixed-line system is fair but not generally available with an extremely low fixed-line tele-density (less than 1 main line per 100 persons). In 2008, the number of main lines in use was 78,300.

The government is intending on introducing competition to the fixed-line sector as well, but it is hesitating to privatize TDM. All other services are open to competition, subject to licensing by the industry regulator, INTM.


The mobile sub-sector has experienced excellent growth rates following the introduction of competition in 2003 between Vodacom Mozambique and mCel, the incumbent mobile subsidiary of the national telco, TDM. However, market penetration is still well below the African average. The country plans to introduce a third mobile operator in 2010 that would boost the competition.

Mobile-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.

The country has 6.381 million subscribers in total, or a 36% penetration rate (2010).

Mobile Operators

Average Revenue per User (ARPU)

The licensing of a third mobile network in 2010 is expected to deliver a boost to subscriber growth in the sector but also drive the average revenue per user lower again which had already stabilized following the introduction of mobile broadband services and higher tariffs. There is no information about the mobile ARPU rates in the country.


Internet usage in the country has been hampered by the inadequate fixed-line infrastructure and the high cost of international bandwidth, but this market sector has started to accelerate following the introduction of various kinds of broadband services including ADSL, cable modems, WiMAX wireless broadband and mobile data services, and then the landing of the first international submarine fibre optic cable in the country (Seacom) in 2009. Mozambique was the first African country to offer broadband wireless services through WiMax.

Further improvements can be expected from the ongoing rollout of 3G mobile services and a national fibre backbone network as well as the landing of the second international fibre (EASSy) in 2010. The lower cost of bandwidth has already started to trickle down to lower consumer prices in some service segments, while others have remained unchanged.

As of 2009, there were 21,388 internet hosts and 350,000 internet users (1.6% of the population). In the same year, the number of broadband internet users was 10,200.

Key Figures

  • Number of main lines in use: 78,300 (2008)
  • Number of mobile subscribers: 6,381,000 (2010)
  • Number of internet users: 350,000 (2009)
  • Number of broadband internet subscribers: 10,200 (2009)
  • Number of internet hosts: 21,388 (2009)
  • Mobile penetration rate: 36% (2009)
  • Internet penetration rate: 1.6% (2009)

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