NetOne might be able to shake the “Zimbabwe’s smallest mobile network operator” tag in the coming months. Information provided by the NetOne MD, Reward Kangai to the Sunday Mail suggests the company has been signing on subscribers by the hundreds of thousands a week.
“We are growing and we are really excited about it,” he’s reported to have said, “During the last week, we added more than 200,000 subscribers due to the promotion launched recently.” The company has two major promotions running; a dollar a day for all on-net calls promo, and a “dash for cash” lotto like promo that we’ll write about later.
The last mobile operator subscriber statistics released by POTRAZ in May had NetOne as the smallest mobile operator (of the 3 major operators in the country) with just 1.6 million active subscribers. Telecel and Econet had 1.5 million (they contested that) and 6.4 million active subscribers respectively.
In the interview with the Sunday Mail, Kangai says the company now has 1.9 million subscribers:
We have over 1.7 million active subscribers and the promotion I talked about has generated over 200,000 more and this figure is still growing…. We are aiming towards reaching a 3 million subscriber base by end of this year and, given what has happened so far, and the plans we have in terms of expanding the network, we are very confident of reaching this goal.
He also hinted that the sudden surge in subscribers may be causing network congestion issues: “We are in the process of addressing network congestion”.
At first glance it seems either the “more than 200,000 a week” figure is a overstated or the projected subscriber growth to year end is seriously underestimated. Assuming that NetOne has 1.9 million active subscribers currently, and assuming the magic promo keeps delivering the numbers, if we extrapolate the 200,000 subscribers over the coming weeks, NetOne will reach the 3 million mark by mid September.
Or maybe NetOne plans to expire the magic promo. Unlikely, but who knows?
Or it could just be that they’ll stop signing on new subscribers as the network congests.
We wrote to the NetOne spokesperson Rutendo Chaburuka yesterday but he hasn’t responded yet with any clarification.