Econet continues to lead in network infrastructure investment

THE country’s telecommunications and technology giant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe continued to lead in network infrastructure investment drive, adding 28 new base stations in the second quarter ended June 30, 2021.

According to the latest sector performance report for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) said a total of 52 base stations were added during the period under review with NetOne installing 17 and Telecel adding seven to bring the cumulative total to 9 048.

Out of the cumulative total, Econet boasts of 5 047 bases stations at a time when the telecoms sector is dogged by rising operating costs, acute foreign currency shortages and depressed aggregate demand.

According to the Abridged Postal and Telecommunications Sector Performance Report for the quarter under review, the industry’s operating cost grew by 15,8 percent to ZW$8,9 billion while revenues grew by 22,2 percent to ZW$16,9 billion in the same period.

In the period under review, Econet’s operating costs increased by 16,2 percent, while NetOne and Telecel’s operating costs surged by 10,2 percent and 42,1 percent respectively.

“Staff costs, depreciation, and bandwidth costs continued to constitute the bulk of mobile network operating costs,” read part of the report. Analysts said it was crucial for the government to introduce incentives, such as tax breaks, to allow the industry to cut down on costs that are threatening to erode margins and impact the sector’s viability,” it said.