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Netone records 6% growth


State-mal Administered struggling mobile telecoms giants NetOne says they recorded 6% growth.The company in the doldrums of no steady leader after the un-procedural removal of former CEO Reward Kangai and Lazarus Muchenje claims in-spite of its leadership challenges, it has returned to profitability following a big swing towards attracting youthful subscribers to its network and a review of its governance systems.

Acting head of marketing and public relations Dennis Chagonda told journalists in Bulawayo last week that Zimbabwe’s oldest wireless network had reviewed its governance systems in the past few months after they had become obsolete.

“We are making money which means there is proper governance happening in the business. It is no longer about losses anymore. We are actually making the money and it’s good for us even as we create value for our shareholder,” he said.

Chagonda said over the years, NetOne had become the trusted network for Zimbabwe’s youths, who now constitute 71% of its customer base.

“We are now making sure that the same people consume what they want and we are not short-changing our customers but we are making sure that they get that which they pay their value for,” he said.

“So we are now focusing more on data services to make sure that the same people consume exactly what they came to our network for. We are not shortchanging our customers, but making sure that they get that which they pay their value for.”

The company has launched an online digital entertainment platform called One World Album simultaneously with a new online channel called OneTv to cater for its youthful subscribers.

In an interview with NewsDay Business, Chagonda said this year the firm was targeting growth, but: “I can’t give you definite terms because it’s part of our strategy.”

“I just want to point to the last quarter of 2020, if you check the Potraz (Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe) figures you will see the growth that we experienced which is about 6%,” he said.

He said they were deliberate in making sure that their network was stable and available when it was needed.

“So we have been improving the quality of the experience and make sure that if you come to our network, we give you the best of service as compared to where you probably would have been considering staying,” he said.

“We are definitely excited about the number of youth that are sitting on our network. We have seen an increase in the consumption of data. These are people who rely a lot more on data and data services. Our world today is driven by data and obviously in that there are a lot of things that are offered.”

According to the Potraz report, mobile data was the biggest mover in the fourth quarter of 2020, making a 3,4% increase in its
contribution to the telecoms firm’s revenues.

Their claims are their claims but if the regulatory authority POTRAZ confirmed it then perhaps better fortunes face NetOne though critics say they must once and for all end this leadership vacuum and deliver when it matters.

Critics while applauding NetOne’s data effectiveness bemoan their high costs.

Ross Moyo

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