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Telecel Zimbabwe loses 111,000 subscribers in first quarter of 2014

Telecel Zimbabwe Headquarters HarareFirst quarter financials released by Vimpelcom, Telecel Zimbabwe’s ultimate parent company, show that Telecel Zimbabwe lost about 111,000 mobile subscribers in the first quarter of 2014.

In the last quarter of 2013, Telecel Zimbabwe reported a subscriber base of 2.57 million. This number, the results show, has gone down to 2.459 million. It’s not clear what has caused the loss in subscribers in the 3 months, and to which of the other two operators the subscribers migrated to. Both Econet and NetOne have not yet reported their quarterly statistics.

Through Telecel Globe, Vimpelcom owns a stakes in operators in Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, and Burundi. The results show that total revenue from the 3 country operations in the first quarter was $22 million.

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It’s not clear what share of this revenue was made by the Zimbabwe operation. However of the total reported 4.4 million subscribers in the 3 markets, Zimbabwe accounts for more than half the subscribers, which may be the same pattern in revenue.

Total earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for the three countries is US $9 with EBITDA margin is 41.4%. Again it’s not clear how much of this is Telecel Zimbabwe’s.

Our questions to Telecel Zimbabwe over the figures had not been responded to by the time we published this article.

In December 2013, Telecel Zimbabwe was the second largest mobile operator in Zimbabwe, after Econet Wireless which has about 8.7 million subscribers. Closely trailing behind Telecel then was NetOne with 2.4 million subscribers. If NetOne gained any subscribers at all in those 3 months, Telecel is no longer second in this market. Back in January, Telecel Zimbabwe attributed the stunted growth to wars with Econet wireless. It’s highly unlikely this is still the reason as there hasn’t been any price or disconnection drama lately.


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21 thoughts on “Telecel Zimbabwe loses 111,000 subscribers in first quarter of 2014

  1. Simple – their network is not good and their 3G is hopeless. At least where I reside in Harare. So I gave up and opted for “better working though more expensive” provider

    1. Well said Sinclair, I was in Chitungwiza, Zengeza in April for 5 days and I could not access the internet.

  2. Their network is poor, the only reason that could make us stay with them was the $1/90min promotion..As soon as the promo ended we had nothing to lose..so we went back to our usual provider 😉 .

    1. i am using their new Go bundles they offer the best rate across all networks 10 cents/minute

  3. Telecel need to implement strategies in order to beat the competition and expand their customer base e.g make available for use unlimited WhatsApp, Facebook, twitter and Youtube bundles.

    1. If anyone believes that Net One is number 2 then they will believe anything! Econet, while its true they are the biggest, lies a lot & exaggerates. Take everything with shovels of salt. I still prefer Telecel, they know what they are doing.

  4. The Econet annual report clearly indicated their reported subscribers of 8.7 million where CONNECTED subscribers. It would be interesting to know what their active subscribers are as we are not comparing the same here. My understanding is that connected subscribers are subs that are currently sitting on the network while active subs are the ones who are doing commercial activity at all on the network.

    1. Correct that Econet subscribers were described as “connected” and not “active”. Connected is a very vague term in the sense of knowing whether they are talking about an active subscriber or just a registered one.

      Unfortunately, in the Vimpelcom data we used, Telecel Zimbabwe’s subscribers were only described as “customers” so that too is unclear. Thanks for the input.

  5. Their internet rarely, when it does you cannot do a damn thing. They said upgrades but even econet didn’t take that long. They data promo not working. It is better if they make it expensive and it works, we will complain but we still pay

  6. Those Vimpelcam figures surely do not make sense. I am a bank employee and know the licence fees Telecel pay to POTRAZ on a monthly basis and their venues were higher than that.

    1. sincerely curious… why would they understate their revenue in their reports? And who would be doing the understating? Vimpelcom, Telecel Zimbabwe, Telecel Globe or Global Telecom?

      1. Doug potraz licenses has nothing to do with the amount of revenue u make but are licenses to operate only

  7. the prob is telecel havana better network infact its the worst of the 3 big operators not kuzoti internet hazvichatotaurwe ,u cnt evn call munhu ari next to you ……ini ndaenda ku econet

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