By Economic Times
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s mobile Internet and data traffic rose 26.1% to 32,473.1TB in the third quarter of 2022, from 25,756TB recorded in the second quarter of 2022, with Econet claiming a huge stake ahead of its competitors, latest report shows.
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe’s (POTRAZ) shows that throughout the year, mobile Internet and data traffic has been steadily increasing.
In terms of market share of internet and data traffic, the country’s telecoms giant Econet saw its market share declining to 76.6% in Q3 2022 from 81.2% in Q2 2022. Telecel, which is facing financial difficulties and network problems, reported a decline in market share from 0.5% in Q2 2022 to 0.2% in Q3 2022.
State controlled mobile operator NetOne saw its market share rising to 23.2% in Q3 2022.
“In the quarter under review, NetOne gained Internet and data usage market share by a margin of 4.9%, in line with the growth in traffic,” reads the report.
Mobile revenues grew by 104.3% to record $79.5 billion in the third quarter of 2022, from $38.9 billion recorded in the second quarter of 2022.
“In absolute terms, all mobile networks recorded significant increases in revenues in the quarter under review.”
Of the total revenue, voice maintained the top spot at 44.3%, followed by internet and data at 39.2%.
“Voice is still the main revenue contributor for the mobile network operators. However, its contribution has been declining gradually over the years, with the contribution of Internet and data rising and steadily replacing voice. This trend continued into the third quarter of 2022,” reads part of the report.
Total active mobile subscriptions increased by 4% to reach 14,562,242; up from 14,006,034. As a result, the mobile penetration rate increased by 3.6% to reach 95.9%, from 92.3%.
“NetOne was the only mobile operator to record a decline in active subscriptions in the quarter under review,” it said.
Operating costs incurred by the mobile network operators increased by 97.1% to $48.6 billion in Q3 2022, from $24.6 billion recorded in Q2 2022.
“Bandwidth costs constituted the bulk of operating costs by mobile operators (30.1%), followed by staff costs (19%). The trend of rising costs is attributable to the inflationary pressures in the economy, from which the sector has not been spared.”
Capital expenditure by mobile operators amounted to $2.15 billion in Q3 2022, representing a sixfold increase from $300.5 million invested in Q2 2022.
In the outlook, POTRAZ said the sector “is expected to grow exponentially with increased adoption of ICTs, operator investment and innovation efforts, as well as the Authority’s efforts to close the digital divide”