Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration increased in the last quarter of 2015 and now stands at 95.4% while active internet subscriptions increased to a total of 6,575,591 and the national internet penetration rose to 48.1% in December 2015.
This information was shared in the latest performance report for Zimbabwe’s telecommunications sector covering the period from October to December 2015 which has been released by POTRAZ, the industry regulator.
According to the report, Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration increased from 92.8% in the previous quarter to 95.4% by December 2015. This increase has now become a trend as a growing number of Zimbabweans access mobile services while trying different operators as a way of maximising service value.
The 2.8% increase in the last quarter ties in with the rise in subscriptions that was registered by all three mobile operators during the period.
According to the report, NetOne, which is the second largest mobile operator in Zimbabwe, recorded the highest growth registering an 8.8% increase in active subscribers to a total of 4.134 million active users. While this trails Econet’s 6.7 million active subscriber total, it’s still more than half of what Telecel holds with just 1,9 million active subscribers.
Internet Penetration on the rise
Zimbabwe’s active internet subscriptions increased by 8% in the fourth quarter of 2015, moving from 6,086,827 subscriptions recorded in the previous quarter to 6,575,591.
As a result, the national internet penetration rate also increased, growing by 1.5% from 46.6% in the third quarter to 48.1% in December 2015.
This has largely been driven by mobile broadband connections which have been trending upwards thanks to continued investments in technologies like 2G and 3G from all operators, as well as the new drive for LTE that has been led by NetOne and Econet.
These mobile technologies still determine the majority of Zimbabwe’s internet access, contributing 97.46% to all connections registered nationally.
Other technologies that have also been rising in popularity include Fibre (which has a recorded total of 13,849 active links) VSAT (which has gone up by 72.9% to record 1,425 links) and TelOne’s ADSL which had a 5% bump to end the year on 64,961 active connections.
POTRAZ also recorded an increase in mobile data utilisation which went up by 27.4% from 944,268,192 MB recorded in the previous quarter to 1,203,378,839MB between October and December 2015.
This increase was driven by WhatsApp and Facebook bundles which respectively contributed 34% and 3% during the period. Stacked up against the 63% used for other data usage, this shows how the mobile Instant Messaging platform has redefined internet consumption patterns in Zimbabwe.
You can access a pdf version of the full report by clicking on the link below.