2.8% Growth in Zimbabwe’s Telecoms Industry

The latest report by Zimbabwe’s regulator says that US$269.5 million was generated in Q4 2016.

As fixed line usage remains on the decline, Zimbabweans are using up more Megabytes mirroring economic difficulties corporates continue to face, as well as movements to other communications platforms such as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

The Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) said in an industry report released on Wednesday that “mobile Internet data usage is up by 19%, whilst national mobile voice traffic declined by 15%” during the fourth quarter period to the end of December 2016.

Zimbabweans heave emerged as heavy users of mobile internet with stats showing that as much as 8,093,668,309 MB of data was utilised in the country in 2016. This represents a massive jump of 119.8% on the previous year.

There has also been a 36% increase in inbound mobile roaming traffic, whilst outbound roaming reduced by 14%. However, fixed phone usage has been on the decline, with the total number of active fixed telephone lines dropping by 8.7% on a quarter-to-quarter basis to 305,720.

“Corporate subscriptions have been on the decline which is a likely indicator of business closure or the adoption of alternatives for voice communication like VoIP in the current economic environment,” stated the report.

Company subscriptions for fixed phone services, which are solely offered by state-owned TelOne, accounted for about 22.4% of total active user numbers.

There was a 0.9% increase in total amount of traffic on the fixed line network to 155.1 million minutes, up from 153.6 million minutes in the previous quarter. The increase has been described as normal and “typical due to the peak festive period”.

Total revenues in the telecom industry in Zimbabwe increased by 2.8% to US$269.5 million compared to the September quarter period. There was a marginal increase of 1.4% in the number of active mobile subscriber numbers to about 12.8 million, with NetOne user numbers rising by 2%, Econet adding up 1.4% and Telecel experiencing a slight drop in active subscriptions.

National voice traffic for the mobile networks stood at 843.8 million minutes, representing a decline of 8.6% from the 30 September quarter. “The decline was attributed to the 15.4% decline in net-on-net traffic” owing to “the discontinuation of a number of promotions,” Potraz explained.

The telecom industry regulatory authority is formulating a framework for promotions after suspending them last year.

Potraz said in its report that NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe (in which the government now has majority control after buying out VimpelCom) experienced a decline in revenues for the quarter. However, Econet managed to increase revenues owing to a decline in operating costs.

“As a result of the increase in Econet revenue, the total mobile revenues increased by 2.4% to record $199.2 million from $194.5 million recorded in the previous quarter.”

Source: IT Web Africa

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