Zimbabwe’s March 2012 mobile & fixed subscriber stats

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Zimbabwe Telecoms March 2012We just got the latest mobile network and fixed line operator subscriber stats from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) for March. The stats cover the year’s first quarter. There are two notable changes since the last time POTRAZ released the country’s telecoms subscriber stats: the tele-density has risen to 78.8% and Telecel Zimbabwe has lost some subscribers.

Econet, the largest telecoms firm in Zimbabwe, added on 714,000 subscribers in the period and still leads the mobile operators with 6.4 million active subscribers. NetOne is now second with 1.6 million subscribers having added 144,000 subscribers to the 1.456 they had in December 2011.

Telecel delivered a shocker. They apparently lost some 375,000 subscribers in this period. From 1.875 million subscribers in December 2011, the company is down to 1.5 million subscribers, effectively putting them in third place. The POTRAZ contacts we’re in touch with have not given any explanation for the drop in Telecel subscribers, only hinting they are having issues getting these stats from the operators.

The state owned fixed line operator, TelOne, not surprisingly increased their subscriber base this time. By some 35,119 subscribers. The new subscriptions are likely being driven by the low cost ADSL broadband being offered by the operator. An active landline subscription is required to access the broadband service.

A country’s tele-density measures the number of active mobile phone SIM cards and landlines as a percentage of the country’s total population. Currently, the POTRAZ stats  don’t include the new VoIP and CDMA operators like Telecontract, Africom, Gigatel and Brodacom that have all launched telephony services.

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18 Comments

  1. Buffdaddy says:

    Got Telone ADSL recently installed. They subsidise the modem. Total cost was $33. but they didn’t tell me about the option for a wifi modem and won’t allow returns. the speed at 256k for $30 per month is more than acceptable. I even watched a bit of supersports streaming, albeit with occasional breaks. so for speed of installation 6/10; for customer care 1/10; speed 5/10; overall experience 5/10.

  2. Basil Mdluli says:

    I do believe that Telecel experienced a surge in subscribers when the initially introduced the Mega Card which gave you $1 airtime, bonus airtime, and Internet data bundles. This was som much value for $1!!. The Mega Card was the talk of the town and suddenly it became fashionable to have a Telecel line. I personally got one and thoroughly enjoyed the data bundle which I could hardly finishh most of the time before the window period expired.
    Mind you, this was a pilot phase and when Telecel then decided to do away with the bonus data bundles, that killed it for most subscribers hence the massive drop in numbers.

  3. Basil Mdluli says:

    I do believe that Telecel experienced a surge in subscribers when the initially introduced the Mega Card which gave you $1 airtime, bonus airtime, and Internet data bundles. This was som much value for $1!!. The Mega Card was the talk of the town and suddenly it became fashionable to have a Telecel line. I personally got one and thoroughly enjoyed the data bundle which I could hardly finishh most of the time before the window period expired.
    Mind you, this was a pilot phase and when Telecel then decided to do away with the bonus data bundles, that killed it for most subscribers hence the massive drop in numbers.

  4. Basil Mdluli says:

    I do believe that Telecel experienced a surge in subscribers when the initially introduced the Mega Card which gave you $1 airtime, bonus airtime, and Internet data bundles. This was som much value for $1!!. The Mega Card was the talk of the town and suddenly it became fashionable to have a Telecel line. I personally got one and thoroughly enjoyed the data bundle which I could hardly finishh most of the time before the window period expired.
    Mind you, this was a pilot phase and when Telecel then decided to do away with the bonus data bundles, that killed it for most subscribers hence the massive drop in numbers.

  5. tamisa says:

    I would like to know how many ‘active’ subscribers are on Econet. I know of people with more than one line, one they use the other they dont. I also know of people who buy lines to sell, are these part of the figures. Now that Telecel has slashed its prices (internet) it’d be interesting to see how many mobile users switch networks.

  6. Chris Mberi says:

    Because Telone is not actively doing something to improve and expand its access network, it has effectively put a cap on its market share which raises a question on whether their offering will be sustainable in the long term. Disruptive technology and mobility are the key trends they need to focus on. While I believe small to medium businesses will do well with ADSL, Telone may have lost the mass market( critical for sustainable volume sales and competitive edge). It’s continued survival is critical to the health and sanity of our telecoms industry

  7. JamesM says:

    That Telecel took a 375,000 sub subscriber hit doesn’t surprise at all. Until very recently their data network was quite frankly pathetic. For wireless telcos data is where consumption and profits are greatest. It seems Telecel simply didn’t quite grasp this paradigm shift and the last 2 years saw them dithering all over the show. However their data network has improved but alas I can’t browse the net on my Android phone on their network, devices that combine both data and voice consumption. Wakey, wakey Telecel!

  8. Magneto says:

    Someone needs to give some very good explanations at Telecel! After the $70mil investment kitty they unveiled and their $4mil splash on a re-branding exercise how can they explain shedding 375 000 subs?? On the other hand noisy market-leaders Econet are very good at copying successful models worldwide. For example Safaricom in Kenya have an almost insurmountable advantage by having the popular M-Pesa VAS on their network and Econet launched the own M-Pesa calling it Ecocash with such force as to unsettle any would-be disruptor.

    Telecel wiould have done themselves a favor if they use part of that $70mil they got from their mother company to launch BBM services or other Value Added Services that Econet does not have.

  9. Brainy says:

    The POTRAZ contacts
    we’re in touch with have not
    given any explanation for the
    drop in Telecel subscribers, only
    hinting they are having issues
    getting these stats from the
    operators.U zimbos dont get it. Tel increase the numbers wit the $ 4 2 lines .net1’s numbers r cookd tarasa macontacts ari muphone mako. 60% r from eco 30% tel the rest net1

  10. JamesM says:

    Please techzim can you investigate the validity period of Telecel’s data bundles. Today I bought 3000 MB for $75 and got a response saying it expires in 30 days rather 120 days as advertised all over your site, please do some follow-up. Telecel up to mischief? Wouldn’t surprise me!

  11. Richard Issa says:

    I personally believe telecel has a few active subscribers of their own and the rest are just buddie customers who are keen on benefiting from telecel subscribers and then dump telecel lines when promotions are over, hence the drop of telecel subscribers.On the other hand netone has picked plenty of customers in the midlands , southern parts of the country and masvingo where they have launched an amazing broadband service.If you look at their coverage map you will see that netone has extended coverage to northern gokwe, kamativi and several rural areas where no other operator was hence gaining customers whilst telecel is busy competing with buddie in oversubscribed harare and not expanding to rural areas.

  12. Sounds inviting. Total $33 only? Including the moderm?

  13. Kombo Ch says:

    Without a transparent way to authenticate theses numbers, their credibility drops drastically.

  14. shizz says:

    These figures are not true, Telecel has actually picked up about 250000 subscribers since the beginning of the year, take it from me.

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