Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration rate declined by 18,1 percent to 84,6 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from 102,7 percent recorded in previous comparable period, latest data show.
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director general Gift Machengete attributed the slump to a 16,8 percent decrease in active mobile subscriptions during the period.
“…there are some subscribers who just buy lines and do not use them,” he said, adding “NetOne has the major discrepancies on its database”.
Figures released by Potraz show that NetOne’s active subscriber base declined by 47 percent from 4 957 478 to 2 634 137 after the clean-up exercise.
Telecel also lost 12 percent of its subscribers during the quarter under review.
Consequently, the total number of active mobile subscriptions as at March 31, 2018 was 11 728 478. This represents a 16,8 percent decline from 14 092,104 recorded in the last quarter of 2017.
Machengete noted that the active Internet penetration rate increased by 1,3 percent to reach 52,1 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from 50,8 percent recorded in the last quarter of 2017 following a 3,6 percent increase in active internet subscriptions.
“Total mobile voice traffic decreased by one percent to record 1,10 billion minutes in the first quarter of 2018 from 1,12 billion minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017,” he said, adding that international incoming voice traffic increased by 2,4 percent from 39,7 million minutes recorded in the previous quarter to 40,6 million minutes in the first quarter of 2018.
“International outgoing voice traffic registered a six percent growth from 19,5 million minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017, to 20,8 million minutes in the first quarter of 2018 due to improved business activities in the country,” Machengete said.
In the period under review, inbound roaming traffic increased by 10 percent to 1,8 million minutes from 1,6 million minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017.
However, outbound roaming traffic decreased by eight percent to record 741,482 minutes in the first quarter of 2018, from 803,117 minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017.
Data from the telecommunications regulator also revealed that total fixed voice traffic decreased by 15,5 percent to record 105 million minutes in the first quarter from 124 million minutes recorded in the last three months of last year.
Machengete also highlighted that revenues by mobile operators decreased by 5,8 percent to record $244,7 million in the first quarter of 201 from $259,7 million at December 31, 2017.
“Data and Internet services contributed more to total fixed revenue than voice services,” he said.
— The Financial Gazette