Mobile money deposits down 10pc

HARARE - Total deposits on the country’s mobile money platforms slumped 10,5 percent in the third quarter of 2015, to record  $458 million from $512 million recorded prior quarter.

According to a Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) report for the period, mobile money deposits were experiencing periodic fluctuations despite an increase in mobile money subscribers for the country’s three mobile telephone operators, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (Econet), NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe (Telecel).

The number of mobile money subscribers increased 7,1 percent to reach 6,7 million from 6,2 million subscribers recorded in the second quarter, as agents also increased 6,9 percent to reach

29 775 from 27 862 recorded in the previous quarter.

Mobile money platforms posted the highest deposits in the second quarter of 2015 at $512 million with the lowest deposits being recorded during the third quarter of 2014 at $403 million followed by 2015’s first quarter which posted $406 million in deposits.

In terms of market share for mobile money subscribers, Econet accounted for 74,8 percent down 75,2 percent, Telecel’s market share remained flat at 14,2 percent as NetOne’s mobile money subscribers marginally rose to 11 percent from 10,6 percent previous quarter.

During the period under review, revenue generated by the three mobile network operators slumped  2,9 percent at $183 million compared to $188 million recorded previous quarter.

“The increase in national voice traffic did not translate to an increase in revenues. This is because the traffic increase was driven by net-on-net calls which were being offered at discounted promotional rates.

“Mobile operators are still heavily dependent on voice service for their revenue. Voice service made up 60,1 percent of total mobile operator revenues in the quarter under review,” Potraz said.

Voice service accounted for 60,1 percent of total mobile operator revenues in the quarter.

According to Potraz, all operators with the exception of Telecel increased the number of base stations in infrastructure development.

But, Telecel still has a higher percentage of active users thus the operator is still posting high levels of voice calls, as users migrate to net-on-net calls.

Total number of active mobile subscriptions increased 3,7 percent to reach 12,3 million subscriptions from 11,9 million recorded prior quarter, leading to a 1,3 percent increase in the mobile penetration rate 92,8 percent from 91,5 percent recorded in the previous quarter.

Fixed voice service generated a total of $30,9 million in the third quarter of 2015, representing a 1,3 percent increase in revenue from $30,5 million generated in the previous quarter an increase attributed to the increased voice traffic in the period under review.

The total voice traffic processed on the fixed telephone network increased by 3,8 percent to record 170,1 million minutes from 164,0 million minutes recorded in the previous quarter.

Licensed postal and courier operators revenues declined six percent to $6 million from $6,4 million, this was attributed to the decline in postal and courier volumes, a trend which started in 2010.

Internet subscriptions increased 4,7 percent to record 6 million from 5,8 million subscribers, as the Internet penetration rate increased 2,1 percent to record 46,6 percent from 44,5 percent recorded in the prior quarter.

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