Telecel Zimbabwe’s Average Revenue Per User at lowest point since 2012 (graph)

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

telecel-arpu-2012-2014Telecel Zimbabwe’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) reached the lowest of $4 in the first quarter of 2014. The information was part of the quarterly financials released by the its parent company in Vimpelcom.

Before now Telecel’s highest ARPU was in the third quarter of 2012 when it reached $6.1. The current low ARPU is not really a surprise, and indeed it’s not just Telecel experiencing these problems. The company is operating in an industry where traditional revenue streams like voice are dwindling while data uptake hasn’t made up for that revenue. Add to that the current liquidity challenges in the country and you have a unpleasant space for an operator to be.

What would have been more useful is if this could be compared to the other two mobile operators in ZImbabwe. Unfortunately, both Econet and NetOne have not made their ARPU figures available.

The average revenue per user is generally a revenue growth indicator as a result of promotions and supplemental services provided by a company. It is also used to measure how profitability potential of the operator.

Though late to the game in the market, this year Telecel launched its mobile money service, Telecash. It’s not clear yet how activity on that front will affect revenue for the company in the future, but what’s clear is that it will not be in the short term.

Here’s the data and graph of Telecel’s ARPU since first quarter of 2012:






  1. ic0n1c

    Great info! Please give us with regional comparisons in the future. Also how far off would an estimate for Netone and Econet be? Surely it should be around the same level considering all the operators offer similar services.

    1. L.S.M Kabweza

      In terms of comparison to Econet and NetOne, yes it’s likely to be around the same but remember that the other operators may have had promotions that were widely successful revenue wise thereby increasing their ARPU significantly. Say, NetOne’s Dollar a Day & Mahala Weekend promos? I have no idea oofcourse how these performed.

      1. ic0n1c

        Is there a way to separate voice ARPU from the data ARPU?

  2. huniland

    thats what happens when u hve expensive data with poor connectivity. like lets be real. phone calls have become more of a luxury than a neccessity. internet is taking over and if y cant keep up there is only one result

  3. angiecentra

    It’s very clear to me now why Econet is hostile to aggregators. The entire telecoms industry is worth about $.1.6bn, Econet has been on a race and current revenues are at $750M. There isnt much to go around for the rest of us, and the only way to grow, is actually to take away from Netone and Telecel. You begin to see the importance of Ecocash, and Data for them.

    What i do wonder though is if SMS revenues can grow in this market if they opened up to aggregators? around the world SMS and Voice are declining, but we have not fully exploited SMS opportunities in this market. With a 10% smartphone penetration, i would say Telecel still has some options to grow its VAS segment, because the game is pretty much over for them at this stage…. just so im clear are their revenues $22m? and Econet $ 750m… how do you account for that gap? Econet ARPU $10 ? Telecel $ 4 ? … i would safely assume that all telecel customers have an Econet line, and Econet is their primary communication line. So what do they use Telecel for?

    1. angiecentra

      oops small correction Telecel revenues 2013 $ 87M…. still the gap is astounding…

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