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Mobile internet use in Zimbabwe increases by over 100% in just a year

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Zimbabweans are making way less voice calls than ever and are increasingly using their phones to access more of the internet.

The local telecoms provider POTRAZ recorded a 25.5% increase in mobile internet use during the first three months of 2016.

1.510 billion megabytes of mobile data were consumed in the first quarter of the year, up from the 1.203 billion megabytes used in the fourth quarter of 2015.

However, the most pronounced increase is evident in the year on year comparison of mobile data consumption. In the first quarter of 2015, mobile data use stood at 750.154 million megabytes. That number has since jumped by 101.3% to the 1.510 billion megabytes total recorded for March 2016.

The rise in internet use isn’t surprising. It’s been the norm for years now especially as internet penetration continues to rise while services that we use frequently via the internet call for a greater consumption of data.

In the case of Zimbabwe’s own internet usage patterns, two services, WhatsApp and Facebook have been identified as the leading drivers of internet use.

Both platforms have extended their multimedia capabilities considerably in the past few years with data intensive features like VoIP and video calling as well as image sharing via instant messaging becoming standard.

At the same time, mobile network operators have accommodated this through service bundless as well as daily data bundles that allow mobile subscribers to access a lot of data at a discounted price.

There’s also the fact that the majority of internet connections in Zimbabwe are made via mobile devices and those connections have also continued to increase.

6.703 million active internet connections were recorded in the first quarter of 2016 with over 6.5 million of them made via mobile connections.

Internet access in Zimbabwe is largely defined by mobile broadband services and with such major increases recorded every year focus on service delivery via the internet in Zimbabwe has to keep that in mind.

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