At the “Thinking Global” ICT conference held in Harare two days ago, Econet disclosed the number of subscribers using mobile broadband internet services on its network. That number is a staggering 1.8 million. Staggering because that’s more than 30% of the total Econet subscribers (5,500,000).
The POTRAZ February 2010 stats show that Zimbabwe, back then, had a total of 1.4 million internet users and only 20,000 “public mobile internet subscribers”. And since the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) gets its data from POTRAZ, the ITU “estimated Internet users per 100 inhabitants” in Zimbabwe is only 11%. That’s clearly very old data now.
Econet is the largest telecommunications firm in Zimbabwe. Having introduced mobile internet in 2009, Econet went on to launch mobile broadband for all subscribers last year in October. Telecel, the second largest mobile operator by number of subscribers, recently availed mobile broadband to its subscribers on a test basis. NetOne, the state owned mobile operator, currently isn’t offering any mobile internet service but is reportedly preparing to launch.