World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Telecommunications in Mauritius

Telecommunications had an early beginning in Mauritius, with the first telephone line installed in 1883, seven years after the invention of the telephone. Over the years, the network and telephony improved. By the late 20th century, the rapid development and convergence of information and telecommunications technologies gave rise to an ICT industry on the island along with many incentives provided by the government. The government thus aims to make the ICT sector the 5th pillar of the Mauritian economy and Mauritius a Cyber Island.[1]


  • History 1
  • General Statistics 2
  • Broadband Internet access 3
  • Notes and references 4
  • External links 5


In 1883, basic telephony was introduced in Mauritius, only seven years after the invention of the telephone. The first telephone line was set up between the Colony Governor's residence in Reduit and Government House in Port Louis.[2] The telephone network was maintained by the Electricity and Telephone Department till 1956. From that date, the telecommunications department took that responsibility.[3]

In 1893, Mauritius was linked to Zanzibar via a sub-marine telegraphic cable followed by Rodrigues in 1901.[3]

Before the independence of the country and till 1985, international communications were managed by Cable & Wireless, a private British company. From 1985, Overseas Telecommunications Services, which subsequently became Mauritius Telecom Limited took over.[3]

The Central Information Systems Division (CISD), formerly known as Data Processing Division (DPD), was created in 1971. The CISD nowadays is responsible for government payroll IT systems, government email, maintenance of all government/departmental websites and technical support.[4]

In 1987, a second standard B earth station and a domestic satellite network were installed with Rodrigues and the Outer Islands. That same year, a X.25 Packet Switched data exchange was also installed.[5]

In July 1988, the state-owned Department of Telecommunications was privatised to become the Mauritius Telecommunications Services (MTS). With privatisation, national and international activities were merged to form Mauritius Telecom Ltd.[5]

The 1988 Telecommunications Act established the legal framework to cater for telecom services in a state-owned monopoly.[5]

The National Computer Board (NCB) was also set up in 1988 by the National Board Act (No 43) to advise the Government on the formulation of national policies for the development of the IT sector and promote an IT culture in the country.[6]

In 1989, the Central Informatics Bureau (CIB) was created whose main functions were to plan and coordinate computerization within the Civil Service.[7]

The State Informatics Limited was also set up in 1989 initially to help in the computerization of the Civil Service.[5]

By 1997, the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications was created to formulate and implement policies regarding the development of the ICT sector. The CISD and CIB became departments within this new ministry.[5]

However, following the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) at the WTO, the 1988 Telecommunications Act was replaced with by the Telecommunications Act of 1998 which provided the legal framework to enable the emergence of a free and democratised telecommunications market on the island. This act also created the Mauritius Telecommunications Authority (MTA) as a regulatory body for the telecommunications sector.[5]

With the development of Information and Communications Technologies, the Telecommunications Act of 1998 was replaced by the Information and Communication Technologies Act of 2001. The MTA was subsequently replaced by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA).[5]

General Statistics

Telephones - main lines in use: 359,000 (2005)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 940,000 (2007)(77% of the population)

Telephone system: small system with good service
domestic: primarily microwave radio relay trunk system
international: country code - 230; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); new microwave link to Reunion; HF radiotelephone links to several countries; fiber optic submarine cable (SAT-3/WASC/SAFE) provides connectivity to Europe and Asia

Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 9, shortwave 0 (2002)

Radios: 420,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (plus several repeaters) (1997)

Televisions: 258,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 4 (2008)

Internet users: 180,000 (2005)

Country code (Top level domain): MU

Broadband Internet access

Mauritius has several operators like Mauritius Telecom, Nomad, Mahanagar Telephone Mauritius Limited (MTML) & Emtel. Each operator uses a different technology to provide Internet access. Nomad makes use of WiMAX, MTML uses CDMA2000 and Emtel uses HSDPA (3.5G). The monopoly is retained by Mauritius Telecom (MT) which provides dial-up & ADSL services over existing telephone lines.

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Development of ICT in Mauritius". Development of ICT in Mauritius. Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  2. ^ The ICT Sector in Mauritius - an Overview- Retrieved 21 October 2006
  3. ^ a b c Nagapen, Amédée (2010). Histoire de la Colonie: Isle de France - Ile Maurice (1721-1968). Editions de L'Océan Indien. p. 120.  
  4. ^ "Central Information Systems Division - About Us". Central Information Systems Division - About Us. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "The ICT Sector in Mauritius - An Overview". The ICT Sector in Mauritius - An Overview. Information & Communication Technologies Authority. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "About the National Computer Board". About the National Computer Board. National Computer Board. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "About Central Informatics Bureau (CIB)". About Central Informatics Bureau (CIB). Central Informatics Bureau. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 

External links

  • ICT sector in Mauritius
  • Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICT Authority) - The Authority is the national regulator for the ICT sector and Postal Services in Mauritius
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.