PRESS RELEASE -- The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published the State of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) report that represents the development and performance of the sector focusing on telecommunications, broadcasting and postal services.
The report breaks down mobile network population coverage in terms of geographical type (urban or rural) at provincial levels. It records that national population coverage for 3G remained stable at 99.5% and for 4G/LTE it increased from 76.7% (2017) to 85.7% (2018).
The ICT sector remains one of the biggest employers and contributors to the mainstream economy. The total overall employment numbers for the three sectors increased by 18.8%, from 51,993 in 2017 to 61,757 in 2018. Over the same period, employment changes in the telecommunications sector increased by 20%, postal sector employment also showed a double-digit increase of 21.9% and broadcasting sector employment increased marginally by 0.3%.
While the ICT sector continues to demonstrate dynamic growth, particularly as driven by the mobile services sector, the growth has not necessarily met ICASA’s vision of affordable access to the wide range of communication services. Though access to mobile services continues to grow, broadband access (both fixed and mobile) remains at unsatisfactory levels due to the perceived high cost of communication services, in particular, data services.
In that regard, ICASA has embarked on several interventions aimed at addressing this challenge, these are the mobile services market review process and the regulation of data expiry and transfer rules.