Wherever you are, 1 out of every 2 active Econet subscribers is active on EcoCash. I spent some time going through the telecommunications report from POTRAZ for the first quarter of this year. The data presented in that document led me to that conclusion and here’s how I got there.
In the last quarter of 2016, EcoCash had 3,245,405 active subscriber but this dropped to 3,189,611 due to the cash crisis causing a slight drop in mobile money transactions. An active subscriber by the way is anyone who completes a transaction like cash-in, cash-out, paying bills or buying airtime within a period of 90 days. So it’s understandable why with the cash crisis, some people might end up not being active subscribers even-though you’d think the situation would encourage people to use plastic money.
As of 2017, Econet has had the largest number of active subscribers at 6,390,232 while the Telecel and Netone are at 1,785,321 and 4,801,762 respectively. So when we take the number of subscribers on Econet and divide it by the number of active EcoCash subscribers, we end up with 0.49913 something. Now I don’t want to anger all the math geniuses out there who will say that it’s not exactly 50% and that you can’t just round up because you’re working with people.
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However, considering that the report only takes account of the first quarter of 2017 and we’re already past that, it means that it’s likely that the number of Econet subscriber using EcoCash has risen again, due to new people signing up for the service, to be above half of the total number of Econet subscribers.
Even-though other mobile operators have large subscriber on their network, none of them have half of their subscriber using their mobile payment solution. Econet has managed to make it essential to be on EcoCash when you are on the network hence more people are using it. It’s just like with the case of Apple products, I always tell people that when you buy an iPhone or a mac book pro, it’s not really about the specs but it’s about the experience and the ecosystem. It’s more enjoyable to have an iPhone and a mac book pro than have an iPhone and a Windows laptop.
One thing to note is that all these number might not necessarily mean unique subscribers. This is because one person may own multiple Econet lines and register them all on EcoCash.
However, it’s unlikely that the majority of the subscribers come from such people. Also remember that even-though Econet has that many subscribers it doesn’t mean it’s the most affordable.
Some of the subscribers could be teenagers who have parents or guardians that take care of the bill. But this is not about which mobile operator to choose. Knowing this information do you think it means that EcoCash has become a necessity for Econet subscribers or even for everyone?
You can get the 2017 first quarter Zimbabwe Telecoms Reports by POTRAZ (pdf downloads) and other reports from previous quarters and years on that page.