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Telecel hits 2 million subscribers. Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration now 80%

A press released we just received from Telecel says the company has surpassed 2 million active subscribers. The new milestone means Telecel has added on some 200,000 subscribers since the March stats released by the company last month.

Telecel is the second largest GSM mobile network operator in Zimbabwe by number of subscribers. The largest is Econet with at least 6.4 million active subscribers. State owned mobile operator NetOne is the smallest of the 3, with at least 1.6 million active subscribers. The fourth GSM operator, TelOne, is yet to operationalise a GSM license it was awarded almost 2 years ago by the telecoms regulator, POTRAZ.

Zimbabwe’s current mobile penetration rate is therefore at least 80%. (Estimate population used is 12.5M)

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

The number of active Telecel Zimbabwe subscribers has now topped two million, an increase of half-a-million since the end of December 2011.

Telecel Zimbabwe chief commercial officer Ashraf Elguindy announced the new milestone at Telecel’s Corporate Golf Day at Chapman Golf Club in Harare last Friday. The announcement was greeted with cheers and applause from the golf day participants and other guests at the golf day prize-giving cocktail party.

Last month former Telecel chief executive John Swaim forecasted that the number of subscribers, which stood at 1 800 000 at the end of March, would reach two million in July.

Briefing guests on the products and services available to Telecel customers, Mr Elguindy highlighted the introduction of data bundles and the reduction in the cost of these bundles to as little as $2,50 for 55 megabytes, $22,50 for 550 megabytes, $42,50 for 1 250 megabytes and $75 for three gigabytes, which works out at two-and-a-half cents per megabyte.

This was not only the best value offered by any mobile network but was probably the lowest data service rates offered anywhere in Zimbabwe, he said.

He also referred to Telecel’s introduction of Tele-Tunes, a service that allows subscribers to substitute a tune or song of their choice for the ringing tone that callers hear when they phone them. Telecel was the first local company to introduce this service that has proved popular elsewhere.

Other products that he mentioned that provide subscribers with good value for money included Telecel’s Mega Juice Card offering subscribers a 100 percent bonus on recharge with the one dollar card to be used in making calls to any Telecel customer and the 50 cents emergency credit that it offers regular subscribers who run out of airtime but still need to make a call.

“The last two years or so have been an exciting period for Telecel. We have led the way within the mobile telecommunications sector in reducing costs and making mobile communications affordable for everyone.

“The number of subscribers we have has soared to its present level of two million and continues to grow. The quality of our voice communications is, we believe, the best in the country,” he said.

He added that Telecel continued to expand its network and install new base stations both to extend its reach geographically and to increase the capacity of areas where the network was well established and where the demand for Telecel’s services, both voice and data, continued to grow.

“We have also been able to benefit from being part of the Orascom Telecom group and from Orascom’s new status as a subsidiary of an even larger telecommunications group, VimpelCom,” he said.

VimpelCom is the sixth largest telecommunications operator in the world.

Among the benefits for Telecel subscribers he mentioned the partnership between VimpelCom and Opera Software to make Opera Mini available as a browser even to those with low cost handsets and the partnership between VimpelCom and Google to give subscribers access later in the year to Google Play products.

He said the appointment of Mr Francis Mawindi was expected to benefit Telecel greatly, given his extensive experience in telecommunications in the Americas, where he had been the France Telecom Orange head of business operations for global services in both north America and Latin America.
Prizes included internet dongles, Samsung smart phones, 32 and 64 gigabyte i‑pads.

The i-pads were won by T. Mapfumo and J. Nyanzhou, who praised Telecel for the service it was providing to the nation.

Among the golf day prize winners was Zimbabwean cricketer Brendan Taylor.

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

6 thoughts on “Telecel hits 2 million subscribers. Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration now 80%

  1. wow, coupled with the google play news this is looking good, now google has to add merchant Zimbabwe based developers

  2. of all the gsm providers in Zim,these guys offer the most value for money to the customer while econet concentrate on makin the moola

  3. Telecel’s pricing is much kinder on the pocket than econet’s daft approach. With increased uptake in smartphones combined with a good data network, Telecel has the opportunity to bring competition to lethargic econet and eclipse the greedy dinosaur. Telecel’s data network has definitely seen significant improvement over the past few moths, the only concern being the coverage of their network.

  4. Telecel has the potential to grow rapidly going into the future. We desperately need another player to dislodge arrogant econet. We currently have an unhealthy situation.

    1. I don’t expect Telecel to grow rapidly any time soon unless
      they can beat EcoCash with a superior product.

      If you notice how Econet numbers have grown over the past 6 months,
      it is not because people wanted to call friends etc. and needed sim cards for
      calls. No. The majority of the time it was because of Ecocash and many people I
      know bought a Econet line just for Ecocash while keeping their old number for calls.

      So for Telecel to grow as rapidly as Econet, they had better
      come up with a product that can beat Ecocash. Indeed when Econet launched
      mobile internet, many Telecel subscribers got Econet lines. But internet alone
      is not enough for them to get numbers that will dislodge Econet.

  5. The i-pads were won by T. Mapfumo and J.
    Nyanzhou, who praised Telecel for the service it was providing to the nation.

    Obviously if you become a praiser of Telecel you will win

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