Econet still preferred network — Potraz

HARARE - Econet's services and products are still a favourite for the majority of Zimbabweans due to quality and convenience, latest industry data shows.

This comes as telecommunications experts said Econet has a unique position in the market in that it is the only operator which has the widest offering of diversified products and services across different industry sectors.

Figures released by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) revealed that Econet continues to lead the industry with close to 50 percent customer market share in the fourth quarter to December 2016.

The industry regulator also noted that “Econet remained the dominant operator commanding close to 70 percent of total mobile voice traffic” in the period under review despite a decline in voice traffic.

In the three months to December, national voice traffic contracted by 8,6 percent to 843 897 116 minutes compared to 923 465 449 minutes recorded in the previous quarter.

Zimbabwe’s largest mobile network operator, which has invested over $1,2 billion on infrastructure development in the past few years, also proved its market dominance after its subscriber base increased by 1,6 percent to breach the 10 million mark in the fourth quarter of last year.

Potraz said although there was a general decline in SMS traffic in the period under review due to the substitution of traditional SMS with Over-The-Top (OTT) text messaging which is significantly cheaper, Econet still enjoyed a 78,7 percent market share of the SMS traffic.

Mobile data utilisation increased by 19 percent to 2 567 401 044 megabytes (MB) from 2 157 903 415 MB recorded in the previous quarter with Zimbabwe’s mobile giant contributing at least 71 percent of the data.

“Total mobile revenues increased by 2,4 percent to record $199,2 million from $194,5 million recorded in the previous quarter. However, Econet was the only operator to register an increase in revenues,” Potraz added.

The latest development aptly fits into Econet’s new strategy, under which the business is focusing more on growing overlay services to drive revenue growth and margin improvements into the future in the face of declining voice tariffs.

Econet became the first telecommunications company to take pre-emptive strategies in anticipation of the reduction in revenue from voice calls two years ago by launching an array of overlay services that are over time expected to become significant contributors to revenue.

People privy about developments at the mobile giant said Econet was confident that its robust business model driven by innovation and diversified product range will enable Zimbabwe’s largest mobile phone company to increase revenue, improve earnings and ensure sustainable growth.

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DONATO MATINJILI - 16 March 2017

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