According to recent, national official statistics recently published by The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe for the first quarterly report of 2016, Zimbabwe mobile penetration and data has continued to soar as millions continue to connect.
The major move has seen active numbers rise compared to parked sim cards which are now mostly dormant, a positive move which can directly increase the national GDP.
The introduction of local cellphone players like Huawei, ZTE, Gtel and Astro had also seen the prices of handsets fall sharply, driving the market positively towards connectivity.
By Toneo T Rutsito
Some of the major highlights in the report revealed that the mobile penetration rate (active) increased by 1.1% to reach 96.5 from 95.4% recorded in the previous quarter whilst the internet penetration rate increased by 1.7% to reach 49.8% from 48.1% also recorded in the last quarter.
The number of LTE eNodeBs (‘base stations’) increased from 312 to 326 following 14 new installations. Equipped international incoming internet bandwidth increased by 9.2% to reach 21,700Mbps from 19,864Mbps recorded in the previous quarter. (symmetric with outgoing) Total voice traffic declined by 14.2% to record 1,257,842,811 minutes from 1,465,861,821 minutes recorded in the previous quarter.
The total number of mobile subscriptions in the country as at 31 March 2016 was 18,992,082. This represents a 2.5% decline from 19,477,307 total subscriptions recorded as at 31 December 2015. The decline is attributed to the removal of unused lines from the networks. Mobile lines that exceed 1 year of no activity are removed from the network by the mobile operators.
Of the 18,992,082 total mobile subscriptions, 12,900,173 were active in the period under review. An active mobile subscription is defined as a mobile line which has been used to make and/or receive a call, send and/or receive a message or used the internet within the past 3 months (90 days).
The total number of active subscriptions increased by 1.1% to reach 12,900,173 from 12,757,410 recorded in the previous quarter. As a result of the increase in the active subscriptions, the mobile penetration rate increased from 95.4% to 96.5%