NetOne subscribers surpass Telecel's

HARARE - State-owned NetOne’s active subscribers have surpassed Telecel Zimbabwe (Telecel)’s to become the country’s second largest mobile network operator, according to latest statistics from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

In its report for the quarter to September 2014, the telecoms industry regulator said NetOne’s active subscribers went up 13,8 percent to 2 707 682 during the period from 2 379 285 registered in the previous quarter.

On the other hand, Potraz says Telecel’s active subscribers base dwindled by 7,8 percent to 2 223 724 from 2 400 729 recorded in prior period. “Due to the decline in active subscriptions, Telecel lost market share by 2,1 percent to reach 19,5 percent from 21,6 percent market share recorded in the second quarter of 2014. As a result, Telecel had the least market share in the third quarter of 2014,” Potraz said.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (Econet) consolidated its position as the country’s leading mobile network operator, with its active subscriber base growing by 2,1 percent in the period under review to 6 472 382 from 6 339 945.

An active mobile subscriber is defined as a subscriber who has used the network at least once in the last three months for making or receiving a call or carrying out a non-voice activity such as sending or receiving an SMS or accessing the Internet.

During the quarter under review, Econet, NetOne and Telecel’s market shares stood at 56,8 percent, 23,7 percent and 19,5 percent respectively.

The trio’s combined revenue surged by nine percent to $248 million in the period under review on the back on increased investment.

According to Potraz, the mobile operators recorded $227 million revenue in the previous quarter.

“Total investment increased by 10 percent to reach $46 949 601 from $30 711 033 recorded in the second quarter of 2014,” Potraz said.

During the three months under review, Potraz said an additional 75 2G base stations were added onto the wireless networks, increasing the number of 2G base stations to 3 284 from 3 209. 3G base stations also increased from 1 260 to 1 300.

“The number of LTE base stations increased by only two base stations to reach 19 LTE base stations from 17 LTE base stations recorded in the previous quarter. All the 19 LTE base stations belong to Econet,” Potraz noted.

It added that mobile money transfer services subscribers increased by 16,3 percent to reach 4,9 million from 4,2 million while the total value of transfers and transactions on the platforms increased by 35,8 percent to $403,2 million from $296,8 million recorded in the previous quarter.

“The total number of active mobile subscribers increased by 2,6 percent to reach 11,4 million from 11,1 million subscribers recorded in the previous quarter,” Potraz said.

“Internet penetration rate increased by 0,5 percent to reach 47,5 percent from 47 percent recorded in the previous quarter.”

Going forward, Potraz noted that the telecommunications sector has undergone major phases in its growth and technological advancements over the period.

“With the sector continually innovating new services and products, there is no doubt that it will continue to expand.” - Business Live

 

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