POTRAZ (Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe), the national telecommunications regulator has just released its latest quarterly sector performance report, covering the second quarter of 2018. Though the report always comes one-quarter too late, it does give a comprehensive snapshot of local telecoms and their industry in its totality.
NB: Every comparison was between the first quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2018.
Over the review period, Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration rate increased by 3.1% to reach 87.7%. This figure represents the active mobile subscribers, whose total came to 12,152,471 subscribers versus the total registered subscribers (both active and inactive).
Econet still maintained its leading position with the largest active subscriber base of 7,9 million active subscribers, followed by NetOne with 2.9 million active subscribers and Telecel holding on to 1,2 million subscribers.
Zimbabwe’s internet penetration increased by 2.8% during the second quarter and stood at 51.9%. The largest increase in internet connections during the period was registered for Fibre and mobile subscription which rose by 17 % and 6% respectively. Active fiber connections stood at 38,840 with this huge jump attributed to the extensive LTE rollout of fiber in residential areas as a result of the increased appetite for faster internet speeds by citizens.
Out of the 7,197,279 internet connections during the review period, 7,029,055 were for LTE,2G, 3G, and HSDP. This indicates how mobile internet is still the leading form of broadband used by Zimbabweans.
A 9.1% increase in voice traffic (courtesy of on net voice promotions) propelled the Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to record an upsurge of revenues by 19.7% to $292,875,967. Better yet, operating costs declined by an astounding 28.2% due to the containment of capital expenditure by MNO’s.
Used international incoming and outgoing internet bandwidth capacity increased by 44.1% and 56% respectively in relation to the first quarter of 2018. The increase in mobile penetration and internet penetration is most likely to be the reason incoming and outgoing internet bandwidth has dramatically increased.
The 1.7% increase in active fixed telephone lines no doubt contributed to the 20.1% growth in revenue of fixed telephone. This quarter’s revenue is $34,474,622 compared to $28,258,466 for the first quarter of 2018, thus 20.1% growth.
Active mobile money subscriptions grew by 6% to reach 5,634,511, with the value of mobile money transactions registering a 66% increase from the previous quarter. Unsurprisingly Econet is still the preferred mobile money platform with now 5,402,393 ( grew by 11.5% from the previous quarter), flowed by Netone and Telecel respectively. The continuing shortage of cash will continue to push more people to adopt mobile money, so the upward trajectory of active mobile money subscriptions will continue for some time.