While reading through POTRAZ’s Q2 sectoral report we had a keen interest in NetOne and Econet’s LTE developments in Zimbabwe owing to our recent speed tests over the past couple of weeks.
The first bit of interesting information was that the number of LTE eNodeBs (base stations) increased from 326 to 513 following 187 new installations during the second quarter of the year, that’s between 1 April – 30 June (91 days). Econet led with 184 new LTE base stations installed while NetOne only managed to install 3 hence the 187 total installations.
The second bit of interesting information was the market share of base stations. With regard to LTE, eNodeBs Econet enjoys a market share of 70,8% while NetOne follows behind with 29,2%. Econet now has 363 LTE eNodeBs base stations while NetOne has 150 in total.
Lastly, the most interesting statistic on the subject of LTE in Zimbabwe comes from the percentage of mobile internet subscriptions accessing the internet via LTE. To quote the report directly, POTRAZ claims that:
Of the total mobile internet subscriptions, 166,797 accessed internet via LTE; 166,090 from Econet and 707 from NetOne.
So between 1 April – 30 June for 91 days only 707 people connected to LTE via NetOne. This means that only 0.424% of LTE internet subscriptions came from NetOne. 150 LTE enabled based stations only had 707 subscriptions?
It’s not entirely surprising seeing that most of our readers expressed shock and surprise that NetOne actually had LTE whilst we were conducting our speed tests. There was the whole fiasco of needing to first activate your LTE something NetOne in our opinion did not do enough to inform its subscribers to do. We took it upon ourselves to educate our readers by publishing an article on how to activate NetOne LTE.
For NetOne to get some form of return on investment on its much-publicised LTE expansion project they should probably get more subscribers on the network. It is not too late to accept that a mistake was made and re-educate subscribers on how to enjoy a service so much money was spent on, but that is just our opinion.
You can download a copy of the report here: potraz-q2-sector-performance-report-2016.