Zimbabwe’s telecoms stats (2013): 103.5% mobile penetration rate

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

We just got the full telecoms subscription statistics from the regulator, POTRAZ, for the 3 months ending December 2013. So, very current. There are two key things you will notice with the new stats;  One is that the mobile penetration has gone past the 100% mark to the now 103.5% and the second is that fixed lines continue to drop in subscribers, this time by about 2.4%.

Mobile Penetration and Teledensity
The total number of mobile subscribers is now 13,518,887, which is 1m up from March 2013’s total of 12.6m. The total number of fixed line subscribers, according to the stats, is now 307,202 down from 314,622 in March 2013.

Zimbabwe’s current total population is 13.06 million.

The operators’ subscriber growth
Compared to the last release stats (March 2013), Econet Wireless grew the most subscribers adding 500k subscribers from 8 million in March to 8.5 million. Telecel grew the least adding just over 100k subscribers from 2.43 million in March to 2.54 million. NetOne, the government owned mobile operator added 352k subscribers growing from 2.1 million to 2.45million in the same period.

Dual SIM and multiple phones
It is worth noting that the mobile penetration rate counts the number of mobile SIM cards on the market in a given quarter and not actual unique individuals. In a country where people have multiple phones and dual SIM phones this means a much lower actual individual penetration. We’d hazard this is around 60% at the moment as no study has been done on this yet.

Now to the numbers and market share:

OperatorNumber of Subscriptions
Telecel 2,544,339
TelOne (Fixed)307,202
Total voice subscriptions13,826,089



  1. Christopher Pade

    If only we had some android usage stats that would be great. In fact all operating systems.

    1. Zim Inov8

      do you know who is responsible for providing such stats, or at least who collects such stats?

      1. Christopher Pade

        No I don’t.

  2. Luckmore

    What about Africom? I really dnt trust this statistics, something is terribly wrong with them!

    1. fourwallsinaroom

      i agree africom should have some sort of figure unless this is only for GSM?

      1. bimp

        Mobile Penetration definition and teledensity definition does not include VoIP as it rides on data and internet.

  3. Blessing R Masunda

    Please make sure that next time when you post information of this nature you research on definitions! This was misleading. There is an important difference between the number of mobile connections and what you were calling subscribers.If one individual actively uses two SIM connections, that person will be counted by the industry as two mobile connections although he or she is only one mobile subscriber.For instance, China reached 1.25 billion connections in 2013, and it was expected that connections would overtake the country’s 1.39 billion population total during the middle of the next year. However, this does not mean that every Chinese citizen will have subscribed to a mobile service. Research shows that, as of 2013, Chinese subscribers held 1.79 SIM cards each, on average, which meant that 630 million mobile subscribers in China accounted for the country’s 1.25 billion connections – less than half of the population.
    Please also look at the difference between mobile users and subscribers to avoid things like this in future.

    1. L.S.M Kabweza


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