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Data growth gives Zim's mobile operators a fighting chance

Data growth gives Zim’s mobile operators fighting chance

In Zimbabwe, data revenue of mobile operators NetOne, Telecel and Econet increased by 3,2% to US$185,6 million in the second quarter of 2017, boosted by the launch of 3G services two years ago and more recently, LTE services.

The aggregate average revenue per user per month remained at US$3.98, according to a report by the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) which also stated that the rise in social media has contributed to an increase in data and internet usage.

"The introduction of social bundles such as WhatsApp and Facebook bundles by operators has driven the popularity and usage of these social networks in the country," reads the report. "WhatsApp and Facebook accounted for 44.2% and 1.8% respectively of total internet and data usage."

"A total of 3.1 billion Megabytes of data were consumed in the second quarter of 2017. This represents a 15.8% increase in data consumption from 2.7 billion Megabytes recorded in the previous quarter," reads an additional excerpt from the report.

Based on internet and data traffic per operator, Econet gained 2.1% market share in terms of mobile internet and data usage, whereas NetOne lost 1.9%. Telecel's market share remained unchanged at 7.6%.

The mobile penetration rate increased by 2.5% to reach 97% from 94.5% recorded in the previous quarter because of a 2.6% increase in active mobile subscriptions, the report noted.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean telecoms industry witnessed drastic shift in revenue streams as voice (which used to be the industry's 'bread and butter' business) is falling away and going forward there will be no concept of voice revenues, industry analysts noted.

The contribution of voice declined considerably to 53.5% from 58.9% recorded in the previous quarter, reads the report.

Voice revenue did not increase despite the increase in national voice traffic because the bulk of traffic was promotional net-on-net voice. The contribution of internet and data remained at 21.5%, Potraz noted.

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