Telecel lost 20% of its subscribers between December 2020 & March 2021

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
Telecel sim, data, prices, bundles subscribers, zvaendwa, network

The country’s smallest mobile network operator (MNO) Telecel’s spiral continued into Q1 2021 according to the latest POTRAZ sector performance report. Telecel lost a staggering 20% of its subscribers in just 3 months!

Q4 2020Q1 2021Variance
POTRAZ Q1 2021 Report

Telecel’s boadroom drama

This is a massive deal because the market looks like it may be losing a company that could otherwise be a competitor to NetOne and Econet. However, that being said Telecel hasn’t helped itself… The MNO has been plagued by boardroom wrangles that have caused a general lack of unified strategy or direction.

An example of this absence of synergy is how mobile data and internet usage went up in 2020, but Telecel’s mobile data market share was being consumed by Econet and NetOne. At the end of 2020, Telecel commanded only 0.6% of mobile internet and data traffic.

A possible explanation for this comes by way of Communications and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe Secretary-General, David Mhambare, who said that Telecel has been failing to upkeep its infrastructure.

“Telecel topline has been shrinking in real terms. In Masvingo and Manicaland there are four engineers and one vehicle, an engineer from Harare attends some of the faults. Workers in Gweru are walking to the Gweru base station controller to ensure there is connectivity because once the base fails, it affects the network in Gweru, Gokwe, Masvingo and some parts of Bulawayo.”

David Mhambare, CAWUZ Secretary General via The Independent

The smallest and strangest silver lining

Keeping on the point of mobile data, Telecel “bounced back” in Q1 2021. The operator was, according to POTRAZ, able to claw back 1.4% of the mobile data and internet market share.

POTRAZ Q1 2021 Report

Now I don’t know about you, but for a company to lose 20% (145,990) of its customers and then make up ground in any respect is a little suspicious… But maybe there are some ardent Telecel fans out there who might just keep the MNO afloat.

The increase in mobile data market share might mean that Telecel may have gotten its act together when it comes to service delivery. However, with people fleeing from it I don’t see how the company could possible gain the market’s faith and make more substantial gains in the future.

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  1. Disgruntled Telecel User

    I feel sorry for the M.N.O in 2019 i used to purchase their Mega Boost Bundle but their services started shrinking

    First when there is Load Shedding it would go back to 2G only

    It got worse in the middle of 2019 when it started showing emergencies calls only when electricity is not available (became a fridge like network)
    I was in Kwekwe by then

    Came to Mutare when you are Happily enjoying 3G because (Telecel’s 4G is a myth to my devices) in Mutare it was a different scenario

    When there is load shedding it would go back to 2G but when Electricity resumes it would go for weeks surfing on 2G when you lock it on 3G it went straight to no services

    4G in Mutare hatitoiziwe

    Zvino tinogarirei everytime i Purchase Econet’s private wifi bundle i feel bad for Telecel but ndodii iyo isinga nyatso ita bhoo

    Thanks takutoziva kuty kuno kune mota 1 ticharamba tichi supporter zvimwe vachazoita promotion yema long serving customers

  2. Big Boss

    If ever Telecel decides to award long serving customers I will definitely scoop it.

    I have to say all the network troubles mentioned in the comment above are exactly what I have experienced and continue experiencing in Bulawayo. There is no 4G with Telecel even in the CBD, not even at their offices. Don’t even bother asking them.

    The major reason am hanging on to Telecel is because of it’s cheaper data (the Home Wifi) which lasts for 2 months and being the cheapest among its competitors as well.

  3. Martin Mukatyei

    Tadzoka isu ku Telecel,seems pane ka imorovement pa data apa,its fairly fast now.

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