Mobile subscriptions as a whole dropped in Q2, a trend that has been consistent since Q3 2022. This time around NetOne lost the largest chunk of subscribers at 5.2% (193,126 subscribers). An interesting stat is the number of subscribers NetOne lost in Q2 of 2023 is equivalent to 63% of Telecel’s subscribers (307,534). It’s fascinating how Telecel still manages to keep its doors open with how its numbers are looking.
Telecel is the only MNO to not record a loss in market share with NetOne giving up 1.2% of it to Econet. The mobile penetration rate dropped by 0.7% to 91.9% at the end of March 2023.
NetOne continues to take Econet’s voice traffic share
For the past 2 quarters, NetOne has consistently gained mobile voice traffic market share with a 2.8% gain in Q1 and a 3.5% gain in Q2 2023. Econet has been the biggest loser in mobile voice market share for the same period (2.6% and 3.2%), and Telecel barely lost mobile voice traffic (0.2% and 0.3%) over Q1 and Q2 2023.
Econet makes up for it with its mobile data market share
Mobile data consumption got an overall increase of 11.6% with Econet mopping up most of the gains. It seems whatever voice traffic Econet lost in mobile voice traffic it made up a lot for it in mobile data. Telecel continued its trend of losing traffic seeing a 56.5% drop in mobile data. That is over half of their data traffic which is a double blow considering Telecel has the most fairly priced data bundles of the 3 MNOs.
Another very worrying Telecel stat is that their data traffic at the end of Q2 2023 was over 22x less than the data traffic NetOne lost in the same period.
MNOs are pushing on with 4G coverage
Investment in mobile network infrastructure was mainly focused on LTE. 243 new 4G deployments, 83 new 3G deployments, and 37 new 2G deployments. Econet still holds a 100% share of 5G base stations at 22 sites. This figure has not changed since Q2 2022.
Telecel’s infrastructure is lagging substantially with a share of just 0.% of the total LTE deployments in the country. So they may have affordable data bundles however they don’t have enough mobile internet coverage for their subscribers to capitalise on them which contributes to their extremely low mobile data traffic.