Mobile subscribers rise 3,4pc to 14m





HARARE – Zimbabwe’s active mobile phone subscribers rose by 3,4 percent to 13,9 million during the quarter to September 31, 2021, the latest figures from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) show.

Resultantly, the regulator said the country’s mobile phone penetration rate increased by 2,2 percent to reach 93,5 percent in the third quarter of 2021 from 91,3 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2021.

All networks recorded growth inactive subscriptions, with NetOne topping the list after seeing growth 6,3 percent.

Telecel and Econet lost some market share by 0,1 percent and 7 percent, respectively, whereas NetOne gained market share by 0,8 percent.

Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulatory authority noted that post-paid subscriptions constituted only 2,5 percent of total active mobile subscriptions during the period under review and fluctuated over the course of the year.

“In an inflationary environment, both service providers and consumers prefer pre-paid subscriptions.

“The pre-paid platform provides consumers control of their expenditure, at the same time allowing them to enjoy lower tariffs from promotions.

“On the other hand, it also minimises the risk of bad debts to operators,” POTRAZ said.

An overall growth of 19,3 percent in mobile voice traffic was recorded in the third quarter of 2021 to record 2,1 billion minutes from 1,8 million minutes recorded in the second quarter of 2021.

Inbound traffic from the fixed network as well as inbound traffic from Internet Access Providers (IAPs) were the only two categories to record a decline.

Roaming traffic is expected to continue improving as cross-border travel improves. Voice traffic for 2021 has been generally higher than 2020 volumes.

Telecel and Econet lost voice traffic market share by 0,2 percent and 2,3 percent, respectively, in line with the decline in their subscriber market shares.

On the other hand, NetOne gained market share of voice traffic by 2,5 percent.

With more children now using online learning platforms due to the Covid-19 pandemic, mobile penetration has inevitably grown.

Apparently, Econet suffered from slow internet connectivity issues, giving NetOne and its LTE 4G coverage a boost for consumption.