Strong signals: Mauritius’ ICT sector continues to climb up the ladder
Total internet subscriptions increased from 568,900 to 680,800, representing an increase of 19.7%, spurred on by an increase of 22.6% in the number of mobile internet subscriptions and 11.6% in that of fixed internet subscriptions. (Image: CommsMEA)
Mauritius’ ICT sector continues to soar, with value added to the economy rising by 6.6% from Rs 19,226 million in 2012 to Rs 20,487 million in 2013, according to data published by Statistics Mauritius on July 4, 2014.
However, the Information, Communication and Technology sector contributed less to the GDP at 6.3% in 2013, compared to 6.4% in 2012. Moreover, the real growth rate – growth after removing price effects –dropped from 9.1% to 7.0%.
The ICT sector has boosted employment in large establishments, those employing 10 or more persons, by 8.6%, up from 12,972 in 2012 to 14,094 in 2013.
Statistics Mauritius data also showed that there has been an increase in the number of mobile phone subscriptions, internet subscriptions and fixed telephone lines per 100 inhabitants to 3.5, 8.8 and 1 respectively.
Connectivity speed also improved, with the international internet bandwidth per inhabitant between 2012 and 2013 rising by 2882 bits per second.
Between 2012 and 2013, the quality of internet access was accentuated as both incoming and outgoing capacity increased by 44.1% from 8,274 megabits per second (mbps) to 11,921 mbps.
Besides, bandwidth capacity for both incoming and outgoing traffic per inhabitant increased by 43.8% from 6,579.8 to 9,462.3 bits per second.
The number of service providers at end-2013 stayed constant with two fixed telephone service providers, three mobile cellular service providers and thirteen Internet service providers, same as at the close of 2012.
Comparing 2012 to 2013, an increase of 4.0% was registered in fixed telephone lines, from 349,100 to 363,000.
Incidentally, the population covered by mobile cellular telephony comprises the number of inhabitants who live within areas covered by a mobile cellular network, irrespective of whether or not they subscribe to the service.
The total number of mobile cellular subscriptions rose by 3.2% from 1,485,800 to 1,533,600.
Of these, prepaid subscriptions increased by 5.8% from 1,339,200 to 1,417,100 while postpaid subscriptions decreased by 20.5% from 146,600 to 116,500.
Additionally, mobidensity, or the number of mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, progressed from 118.2 to 121.7, representing 3.0% increase.
Total internet subscriptions increased from 568,900 to 680,800, representing an increase of 19.7%, spurred on by an increase of 22.6% in the number of mobile internet subscriptions and 11.6% in that of fixed internet subscriptions.
As the ICT sector is continuously evolving and people are adapting well to these changes, Mauritius’ trade in ICT goods was on the rise from 2012 to 2013.
Imports of ICT goods increased by 14.9% from Rs 7,502 million to Rs 8,621 million, while exports including re-exports climbed by a whopping 344.0% from Rs 455 million to Rs 2,020 million, mainly due to increase in the re-exports of mobile cellular phone.
However, trade in ICT services was not as successful, as an increase of 13.7% was registered in imports while exports increased by a lowly 8.4%.
It may be noted that the ICT sector comprises manufacturing activities, telecommunications services, wholesale and retail trade, and other activities such as call centre services, software development, website development and hosting, multimedia, IT consulting and disaster recovery.
The island continues to make strides in improving the ICT sector as its ICT Development Index (IDI), rose to 5.11 in 2013 compared to 4.68 in 2012. The improvement was mainly attributable to increases in ICT access and use.
The index is released by the International Telecommunication Union and is based on eleven indicators grouped into three sub-indices and measured on a scale of 0 to 10.