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3 things that you probably think are true, but the POTRAZ telecoms Q2 report doesn’t agree


It’s easy to make assumptions based on the people around you (or even based on just yourself) and believe them to apply to “everyone”. In fact this such a common practice with us humans hence the birth of statements like “everyone is doing it”. But you and I both know that’s not true, not even close; if you ask me, that’s the most deceptive statement that man has ever crafted in the history of mankind.

Nonetheless, there’s always a way to correct (or improve) our assumptions, it’s called numbers. Numbers never lie, well at least they are not meant to; but of course there will always be those that tweak figures for whatever reason, be it incompetence, laziness or just pure sinister.

So down below are assumptions I had prior to reading the 2nd Quarter of 2017 telecoms report (POTRAZ Q2 report). Of course I also assumed that you might have the same assumptions, if you did, no prob, we about to clear things up a bit.

1. Facebook is big in Zimbabwe.

I really thought Facebook was big in Zimbabwe. By big I mean at least something close to WhatsApp. Yesterday, Techzim covered how of the 3.1 billion Megabytes of data that was consumed in the second quarter of 2017, 44.2% of it was used for WhatsApp. You’d think that Facebook is somewhere close right? Like at least at 20% or something? But nope, not at all. Facebook only has 1.8% of the pie.

With all these social media bundles in Zimbabwe, I surely expected Facebook to do better. I understand that of course WhatsApp is for both rural and urbanites since it’s a communication tool while Facebook is more or less an urban thing but still 1.8% is not the figure that would have crossed my mind had I been asked to guess.

But then again, these stats are just on mobile internet and data. Maybe there are more Facebookers out there who are using WiFi to connect?

2. Most People migrated to Onefusion

We cried #DataMustFall and data fell but surprisingly people stuck with the pricier data.

When Onefusion entered the scene I honestly thought it was a game changer. Getting 300MB data, 700MB WhatsApp data, 900MB Facebook data and not to mention the Voice calling minutes for both on net and off net all for just $5??? That’s Christmas in Zimbabwe! I won’t even mention One Fusion $10 which is an even better deal in my opinion. The other important thing is how the Onefusion deals are valid for a full month. Usually the trade-off is on the size of data vs. the period in which it is valid for.

Now, POTRAZ Q2 2017 reports that NetOne, despite the Onefusion lost 1.9% of the data usage market share! How? They didn’t lose it to Telecel which had data promotions, no no, in fact Telecel remained unchanged at 7.6%. They lost it to Econet! You know Econet right? The mobile operator which has people ever complaining on how expensive its data is? Yes that one. Econet actually gained a 2.1% of the market share.

This is probably a classic case of people always opting for quality over quantity. Yes NetOne has the widest network coverage but Econet has the widest 3G and LTE coverage. So this probably confirms that people are indeed interested in speed and network quality.

Or, this could be because Econet airtime is easier to purchase since cash is a problem? Maybe. But there’s OneMoney, Telecash, Instapay, Paynow Topup and all that can be used to buy any airtime using mobile money. You’d think it’s a no brainer but it could be a little complicated as I described in my own experience.

3. Voice traffic has reduced

With Over The Top (OTT) services like WhatsApp et al., you’d think people have stopped with mobile voice calls, or even stopped calling at all. Why call when you can text more or less for ‘free’ in real time? Okay maybe that’s a little extreme but we could stray a bit and do a little survey: how many prefer texting to calling?

I mean these days you can even chat business away on WhatsApp which is actually more effective in my opinion since it gives people time to actually process and inquire where need be as compared to the pressure of just blabbering out responses since one can’t always keep people holding.

Also, before OTT services you had to make a call even to inquire the simplest of things. Now? Not so much. Bearing that in mind I assumed voice traffic would dwindle but no. Voice traffic actually rose by a good 6.3% from the previous quarter.


I’m pretty sure I share these (or at least one of them) with a few more people… Do you happen to be one of those?

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

6 thoughts on “3 things that you probably think are true, but the POTRAZ telecoms Q2 report doesn’t agree

  1. Data usage does not necessarily mean the extent of popularity in actual usage. While I agree that Whataspp is by far the most popular, it also by far has the biggest downloads (by size) there- by consuming the most data and can only be accessed through its app whereas Facebook does not have as many video downloads and can also be accessed through different browsers such as Chrome and Opera Mini whose data usage is not accounted as Facebook.

  2. My observation is that most people prefer to browse Facebook using their PC and WiFi being the major culprit. I would reserve my judgement on determining popularity of the two basing on mobile phone data usage. My questions is, why has Netone failed to penetrate the market with their One fusion despite the noise and presents of their foot soldiers in the market?

  3. It’s not that useful to compare quarter in quarter figures in isolation. There is possibility for cyclic behaviour in consumption of data and voice services. It would be better to also see the comparison with the same quarter last year. Or even do a year on year comparison. Only then will we have a clear picture of what’s happening.

  4. I think the voice rise was due to fusion single handedely … To be honest the coverage on network data is definitilu arguing these stats…I got WiFi so bundles always expire plus it’s a bit slow for sure…. As for LTE is drains lot your battery even on standby

  5. The voice traffic increase is obviously because of promotions zero rated free same network calls which dnt bring much to the bottom line

  6. Good read! Two other misconstrued facts i picked are:
    1. Netone has the widest coverage (the report shows Network infrastructure Market share which shows Econet leads in that arena. It even states that “Econet remained the dominant operator in terms of 2G, 3G as well as LTE network coverage” but still the author suggests otherwise. “Numbers dont lie”
    2. Voice revenue growth has is being driven by Econet. the report shows a Voice Traffic Market Share drop from Netone & a growth from Econet. This shows that OneFusion HAS been rejected by the market. Strange really considering they have heavily discounted rates. Ive tried it i think they should seriously invest in upgrades of sorts; its a nightmare to recharge, the voice quality is muffled. The should up their game.


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