[headlines headline=”h3″ ]Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has announced that it has attained a whooping 780 000 subscriber base in the past 12 months, while announcing their financial result as at February 2014.[/headlines]
Mr Mboweni, The Econet CEO said that although they have garnered close to a million subscribers, these are not contributing much to boost their revenue as the voice market is now saturated.
By Tongai Mwenje
“Everyone in the country who wants service now has it. So, although we added over 780 000 new subscribers over the last 12 months, they did not help to increase revenue.” said Mboweni.
Last year, according to the Zimbabwe mobile penetration rate report, Econet had 8,5 million subscribers meaning it now stands 9,280 000 subscribers.
Ofcourse they have been a raging debate on the subscriber base and actual active subscribers amongst mobile network operators, a fact only the mobile network operator can prove.
Mr Mboweni pointed out that broadband and new services such as EcoCash were growing very rapidly, and were helping to offset the slowdown in SMS. Broadband grew by 62% and EcoCash by 307%, contributing more than 14% to the overall revenue for the year.
“When you reach more than 100% penetration of service in any country, it means that virtually everyone now has a phone. This situation is not unique to Zimbabwe. It has happened elsewhere, and so we had long anticipated it and had begun to invest heavily in new services. We are beginning to see the fruit of that work.”
In terms of the results, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which operates services only in Zimbabwe and also operates Mutare Bottling Company and Steward Bank, had a turnover of $752.7million for the twelve months, from which it generated a profit after tax of $119.4million.
Only $20million of the profit will go to pay dividends and the balance will be reinvested in the business and used to pay off loans from international banks. The company is currently repaying $228 million in debts to various international banks.