According to the Zimbabwe Consumer Price Index, indeed the unparalleled Telecommunications giant made a remarkable profit as restated by their 2021 balances.
Econet sold more airtime in the period in question than in the preceding one and that alone is remarkable progress.
Econet subscribers used 58% more data in the year ending February 2022 than in the year before it.
Data consumption is only increasing.Covid and its enforced work-from-home mandates played a major role in increased data consumption in 2021. However, this level of consumption is likely to be sustained, or even topped in 2022.
The opening up of the economy did not lead to everyone going back to the office. Working from home works for some and they will not be commuting to an office building any time soon. They are instead depending on the internet to allow them to be productive from home.
Voice consumption increased by 19%. The trend over the years has been clear, the more data people use, the less voice they use. The major reason for that being that the internet provides a multitude of cheaper ways to communicate.
The Zooms, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams of this world and the humble WhatsApp call achieve more or less what voice airtime does. So, voice demand will be suppressed going forward barring any major shift.
In 2021, data prices were restrained even as demand for data increased.
Most Econet subscribers find it hard to downgrade and hard to live without internet access once they have experienced it.
When one has enough data to share pictures and short videos with friends and family, go on hour-long WhatsApp calls, mindlessly scroll through on TikTok, watch a few YouTube videos and even perhaps stream some TV shows, it becomes a way of life.
Internet access has become like bread, and sensitivity to its cost becomes just a little more elastic. Family budgets are reworked to make sure one keeps up with their favourite online content.