Zim mobile operators in revenue jump

HARARE - Local Mobile Network Operators’ (MNOs) revenues for the third quarter to September 2016 jumped 20,4 percent from $161,5 million to $194,5 million as total telecommunications revenue also increased 14,5 percent to $262 million, official data shows.

In its report for the quarter under review, the Postal Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) said MNOs had accounted for the major chunk of total sector revenue – after contributing 71,8 percent –followed by Internet Access Providers (IAPs) which chipped in  14,5 percent of the total followed by fixed telephone operators and postal and courier providers who accounted for 10,4 percent and 3,2 percent of the revenue respectively.

“The third quarter of 2016 was characterised by improved revenue performance for the mobile operators as well as the IAPs… IAPs recorded a revenue increase of 1,2 percent to $39,3 million from $38,9 million.

“However, fixed telephone operators had a 0,6 percent decrease in revenue from $28,3 million to $28,1 million while postal and courier also had a 0,2 percent decrease from $8,67 million to $8,69 million,” Potraz said.

Despite the revenue increases, total voice traffic was down 3,6 percent to 1,14 billion minutes down from 1,19 billion minutes recorded previous quarter.

“Net on Net traffic experienced the biggest decline of 6,4 percent and this can be attributed to the discontinuation of a number of promotions in the quarter under review.

“On the other hand, internet and data usage registered positive growth. Mobile data utilisation increased by 16,1 percent to record 2,1 billion Megabytes (MB) from 1,8 billion MB recorded in the previous quarter. There has been continuous growth in data usage over the past year,” Potraz said.

As a result of the decline in active mobile telephone subscriptions, the country’s mobile penetration rate declined to 94,3 percent from 97 percent as fixed penetration rate remained at 2,5 percent while internet penetration rate was flat at 50,1 percent.

The watchdog organisation said growth in mobile and IAP revenues had translated to a 14,5 percent increase in total telecommunication revenues.

“On the other hand total revenue generated by the postal and courier operators declined by 0,2 percent as a result of depressed volumes.

“Postal and courier volumes declined by 2,4 percent to record 2,2 million from 2,3 million postal and courier items recorded in the second quarter of 2016,” the organisation noted.

In terms of infrastructure, the total number of base stations in the country increased 3,1 percent to reach 7 589 from 7 356 recorded in the previous quarter following the commissioning of 233 more base stations, with the organisation pointing out that data usage this year was going to surpass last year’s.

“2016 total data usage is likely to double that of 2015. The total mobile data usage for the first nine months of 2016 was 5,5 billion MB (5,525.3TB) and has already exceeded 3,6 billion (3,682.9TB) used in 2015.

“As demand for internet keeps increasing operators have been increasing capacity to match the demand. Equipped incoming international internet bandwidth increased from 75,230 Mbps to reach 75,385Mbps following commissioning of an additional STM1 (155Mbps),” said Potraz.

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