HARARE – Econet Wireless Zimbabwe gained market share on the three main mobile telecommunications products of voice, mobile data and SMS as the industry’s operating costs surged by 44 percent, the latest sector performance report shows.
According to the Postal & Telecommunications Sector Performance Report Second Quarter 2022, Econet continued to lead the market share for internet and data traffic, gaining 2.4 percent to close the period at 81.5 percent, while Telecel and Netone lost market shares by 0.7 percent and 1.7 percent respectively.
“Econet’s continued share growth can be attributable to their huge numbers of active mobile subscribers and their wide network coverage across the country,” said the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) in the report.
In the period under review, a total of 25,756 terabytes of mobile Internet and data were consumed, representing a 16,8 percent increase in internet and data traffic from 22,052 terabytes consumed in the first quarter of the year.
According to the report, Econet and NetOne recorded growth in internet and data traffic by margins 20.5 percent and 6.5 percent respectively as Telecel recorded a huge downturn by a margin of 53.9 percent.
At the same time, Econet gained voice traffic market share by a margin of 1.1 percent to 75 percent, whereas Telecel and NetOne lost market share by 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent respectively.
During the second quarter of 2022 mobile voice traffic totalled 2.35 billion minutes up 32.6 percent from 1.77 billion minutes recorded in the first quarter of the year.
“The increase in overall mobile voice traffic is attributable to stable tariffs which were obtaining in the quarter under review; no base tariff review was effected throughout the second quarter of 2022. Net on net traffic appeared to be the major driver of the quarterly growth, recording a 31.9 percent categorical growth,” the regulator said.
“Likewise, mobile to mobile traffic had a significant impact on total traffic as it recorded a 46.4% growth.”
In the second quarter to June 2022, all SMS categories, except for international incoming traffic, recorded significant positive growth. This resulted in a 3.1 percent increase in total SMS traffic from 2.433 billion in the first quarter to 2.5 billion in the second quarter.
“Econet and Telecel gained market share for SMS traffic by 0.7 percent and 1.9 percent respectively, whereas NetOne lost market share by a margin of 2.6 percent,” added Potraz.
Econet also maintained its 100 percent market share of 5G base stations in the country, adding its tally to 22 in the three months to June, up from 10 in the previous quarter. The company enjoyed 53.2 percent, 54.6 percent and 58.9 percent market share of 2G, 3G and LTE base stations in the period under review.
The regulator noted that the total number of active mobile telephone subscriptions as of 30 June 2022 was 14,006,034, showing a 2 percent decline from the 14,289,085 recorded in the first quarter of the year.
Zimbabwe’s three mobile operators recorded a decline in active subscriptions in the quarter under review, with Econet closing the period under review at 9,125,792 down from 9,359,485 in the previous period while NetOne had 4,411,239 from 4,422,595 and Telecel was down to 469,003 from 507,005.
In the period under review, mobile network operating costs grew quarter-on-quarter by 44.9 percent, to $24.6 billion, from $17 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2022.
The growth in operating costs surpassed the growth in aggregate revenue, which went up by 35.1 percent to $38,921,037,353 in the second quarter.