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South Africa has approximately 4.92-million installed telephones and 4.3-million installed exchange lines. This represents 39% of the total lines installed in Africa. Some 58% of Johannesburg's households had a fixed line telephone in the home in 2001, an 11% increase over five years. In 2003 the industry was reportedly worth about R81-billion. And 85 percent of the sector's activities occur in Gauteng.
South Africa's sprawling geography has required it to invest in a large transmission infrastructure that covers about 156-million circuit-kilometres. The transmission network is almost wholly digital. Digital microwave and optical fibre serve as the main transmission media for the inter-primary network, interconnecting all major centers, including Johannesburg.