Mobile revenues down 18pc

HARARE - Zimbabwean mobile operators' revenues in 2014 tumbled by 18 percent to $907,3 million from $1,1 billion recorded prior year on the back of a weakening economy and lower disposable incomes.

Statistics released yesterday by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) show that there was also a 11,3 percent decline in quarterly revenues from $247,8 million generated in the third quarter of 2014 to $219,7 million generated in fourth quarter of 2014.

The revenue slump is, according to the telecoms regulator, coherent with the decline in the active subscriber bases of Telecel Zimbabwe (Telecel) and Econet.

“A comparison with previous quarter’s statistics shows that

NetOne gained 5,4 percent market share whereas Telecel and Econet lost 4,2 percent and 2,2 percent respectively. NetOne’s gain in local traffic market share can be attributed to the increase in subscribers on its network,” said Potraz.

Total voice traffic processed by the mobile networks for the period under review was 1,7 billion minutes, a four percent decline from prior year comparative.

“An annual comparison shows that total mobile voice traffic declined by 2,1 percent to record 7,06 billion minutes from 7,21 billion minutes recorded in 2013,” the regulator said.

Econet had 51 percent market share of local mobile voice traffic whereas NetOne and Telecel had 28,2 percent and 20,8 percent respectively.

In terms of market share of active subscribers, Econet recorded 54,7 percent, NetOne had 27,1 percent while Telecel had 18,2 percent.

“A comparison with third quarter statistics shows that Econet`s market share declined from 56,8 percent to 54,7 percent and Telecel`s market share declined from 19 percent to 18,2 percet. On the other hand NetOne`s market share increased from 23,7 percent to 27,1 percent,” said Potraz.

Meanwhile, the country’s active mobile subscriber base grew by 3,5 percent to reach 11,8 million from 11,4 million subscribers recorded in the previous quarter leading to an increase in the mobile penetration rate from 87,3 percent recorded in the previous quarter to 90,3 percent.

While Econet lost 20 519 subscribers in the quarter under review, Telecel lost 71 576 subscribers whereas NetOne gained 486 959 subscribers.

“Whilst this is the only quarter in 2014 in which Econet experienced a decline in active subscribers, Telecel’s subscriber base has been declining consecutively” the report said.

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