Lesotho - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Lesotho - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

  • November 2021 •
  • 104 pages •
  • Report ID: 3249288 •
  • Format: PDF
Telecom regulator continues struggle with Vodacom Lesotho opens up market to other operators
The longstanding dispute between the regulator and the two main telcos has had some beneficial effects for the country’s consumers. After the regulator tried to revoke Vodafone Lesotho’s licence in late 2020, the company fought back and secured a reprieve from the courts. Having considered that one of the difficulties in its relationship with the telco stemmed from its reliance of Vodacom reporting on itself, the regulator in early 2021 secured a system to monitor traffic and billing systems, aimed at protecting consumer rights and safeguarding quality of service.However, the regulator has also assumed the right to approve appointments to managerial positions made by Vodacom Lesotho or Econet Telecom Lesotho, which has been contested by the operators.The dispute also encouraged the regulator to make changes to the market more widely. Although technically the telecom sector is open to competition, in effect it has remained a duopoly, with new entrants only having been able to become players on invitation from the regulator. This changed from October 2020, when amendments made to certain rules came into effect, which removed this restriction and allowed any prospective market entrants to apply for a licence. Licensees must provide services within two years.

Key developments:

  • Vodacom Lesotho transfers its M-Pesa division to a new independent company, VCL Financial Services;

  • Telecom regulator assumes the right to approve telcos’ senior management appointees;

  • ETL expands FttP network;

  • Safaricom and Vodacom Group acquire the M-Pesa brand;

  • Improved internet connectivity following landing of international cables;

  • Universal Service Agency expanding base tower infrastructure in remote areas;

  • Report update includes ITU statistics, regulator’s ICT market report, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, operator data to Q2 2021, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:
  • Telecom Lesotho, Econet a, Vodacom Lesotho, Eskom, Comnet.
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