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What subscriber loss? Our subscribers have grown by 300,000 says Telecel MD

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We just received a news release from Telecel on the subscriber stats matter from yesterday’s article. Well, Monday’s actually. The mobile operator is clearly bent on setting the record straight. The release is basically an expanded version of the statement from them we posted yesterday – that the latest stats supplied us (and the Herald) by POTRAZ are incorrect. And that even the December 2011 stats released by POTRAZ were incorrect.

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POTRAZ in the meanwhile has not responded to the email we sent them seeking clarification on the matter. The state owned local newspapers will likely also check with POTRAZ when they receive this Telecel news release and usually, you can bet on them getting a response. So us mere mortals will wait for now.

Strangely, Telecel is only complaining now when their subscribers have been understated. When the opposite happened for the December stats, when the number of their subscribers was overstated (at least according to them), they didn’t say anything. It’s almost as if the overstatement in December was a convenient error that everyone agreed didn’t matter.

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Here’s the full text of the Telecel news release:

Telecel Zimbabwe says it has seen its active subscriber base grow considerably over the past few months, contrary to recent media reports.

The company’s managing director, Mr John Swaim, said growth in the number of subscribers had grown steadily. He said the network expects to hit the 2 000 000 active subscriber mark soon.

Clearing up some of the confusion which has been apparent in the market, he said the numbers provided by Telecel are based solely on its active subscriber count.

“An active subscriber refers to a customer who has made a revenue-generating activity within the last 90 days. This is the officially accepted GSM definition.

“There is also a reported capacity called Home Location Register (HLR), which refers to the total installed capacity including those subscribers who have not been active over 90 days as well as those whose lines are inactive pending registration and the subsequent initial activation,” Mr Swaim said.

The number of Telecel active subscribers had increased, he said, from 1 500 000 at the end of December 2011 to 1 800 000 at the end of March, an increase of 300 000 subscribers.

The organisation expected to celebrate the attainment of 2 000 000 active subscribers sometime in early July this year.

Mr Swaim said statistics reported recently in the Press were incorrect. At the end of the first quarter of this year, Telecel had 1 800 000 active subscribers as opposed to the incorrect 1 500 000 reported.

The incorrect figures had reflected a loss of more than 300 000 subscribers in the first three months of the year, when in fact the reverse was the case. There had been a gain, not a loss, of more than 300 000 subscribers.


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8 thoughts on “What subscriber loss? Our subscribers have grown by 300,000 says Telecel MD

  1. Hypocrites!When their figures were overstated it was indeed convenient for them , now that their numbers are allegedly understated they make noise.I don’t think that Potraz in their righ sense would publish figures without verification and i can bet my last cent that the Potraz figures are correct because Telecel has been offering poor services of late.

    1. You have to admit while people are telling you you’re awesome you won’t complain whether it’s true or not, but let them tell you you’re an idiot and you’ll kick up a stink…

    2. It’s not hypocritical. It stands to reason that you would want to correct a (damaging) article suggesting that your product or service is so bad you have lost over 300,000 subscribers in three months. The exact figures were merely their proferred proof of their counter claim and not the point of the argument.
      And as a user of both Telecel and (now very grudgingly) Econet, the former’s been winning in terms of service on my end.

  2. It is sad that the journalist who wrote the single-source based article refuses to acknowledge their error in judgement.

    Professional journalism particularly in relation to a big story demands that you go to press with at least two sources and three at best. In this instance a potentially damaging piece was authored based on one source and according to the release the journalist got the stats mixed up.

    It has become common-place thanks to technology for journalists to write stories without fully cross checking all the key sources. Which ever way you look at it this story should not have been published without affording Telecel, the main respondent a right to reply. We are tired Google-based where entire articles are published based on hear-say. The Heralds article did not even attempt to get Telecel’s side of the story. There is this huge rush to publish an exclusive story and often enough with egg on their faces journalists and publishing houses have to come-back and publish a retraction.

    Unfortunately, in this case the journalist is busy pointing fingers in all directions except for the direction that matters towards himself. Even now with growing evidence that he dropped the ball he still refusing to face the fact that his story could have been better researched!!!!

    1. I’m the writer.

      It is sad that the journalist who wrote the single-source based article refuses to acknowledge their error in judgement.

      There was nothing to judge. Number came from POTRAZ.

      In this instance a potentially damaging piece was authored based on one source and according to the release the journalist got the stats mixed up.

      Again, if anyone got the stats mixed, it is POTRAZ not the writer.

      We are tired Google-based where entire articles are published based on hear-say

      Stats supplied by POTRAZ surely can’t be referred to as hearsay.

      There is this huge rush to publish an exclusive story and often enough with egg on their faces journalists and publishing houses have to come-back and publish a retraction.

      Nothing is being retracted here. The Telecel side of the story is just being posted. It’s POTRAZ’s duty to retract, if there’s anything to retract.

      in this case the journalist is busy pointing fingers in all directions except for the direction that matters towards himself

      In pointing fingers at the writer, the bigger problem is ignored completely; that if Telecel’s figures are correct and POTRAZ’s wrong, there’s urgent need to seriously look at how the regulator gets and verifies subscriber figures from the telcos. The country’s official telecoms stats depend on the figures released by POTRAZ.

  3. What may actually be illustrative though would be to get numbers from all telcos in Zim showing what subscribers are consuming more, data or voice and in what proportions on their networks. I have yet to see that trend in Zim.

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