The Zimbabwe ICT industry regulatory board yesterday held a stakeholders meeting at the Harare International Conference Center where it released the Sector Performance Report on all telecommunication operators for the last quarter of 2015.
By Shingie Levison Muringi
The telecommunications mother board said there was a remarkable positive rise in mobile penetration rates in the last quarter of 2015. Their survey showed a mobile penetration rate increase by 2.6%% to reach 95.4% from 92.8% recorded in the previous quarter.
This means that out every 100 people there are 96 active mobile lines. Besides growth in users, the high penetration rate can also be attributed to multiple SIM ownership as people seek to enjoy promotions from all the mobile operators. The movement in the mobile penetration rate over the past year is shown in figure 8 below:
However there was a decline in the national voice traffic mainly due to the rise of Over the Top Services such as Whatsapp, Skype and Viber. The total national voice traffic declined by 5.7% to record 1,189,942,667 minutes from 1,262,513,445 minutes recorded in the previous quarter. A comparison of mobile telephony traffic in the third and fourth quarters of 2015 is shown in table 8 below:
The biggest improvement was registered on Internet Access Providers (IAP) to mobile traffic whereas the greatest decline was experienced on outbound roaming traffic. Also notable was the decline in net on net traffic, which declined by 6%. The decline is largely attributable to reductions in net on net traffic experienced by NetOne and Econet.
Telecel`s net on net traffic registered an increase, a development which is an indication of the latter’s recovery from reduced subscriber confidence associated with its licensing issues. The overall decline in net-on-net traffic is largely attributable to the proliferation of Over the Top services. OTTs continue to proliferate despite discounted net on net tariffs in the form of promotions. Figure 9 below shows the trend of national voice traffic over the year:
In terms of market share with respect to voice traffic, Econet maintained its lead position commanding 61.1% whereas Telecel and NetOne had 14.3% and 24.6% respectively. An annual evaluation shows that Econet has been continuously gaining voice traffic market share whereas Telecel and NetOne had periodic fluctuations as shown in Figure 10 below:
POTRAZ further reported that there was a major increase on Mobile Internet and Data Traffic. Mobile data utilisation increased by 27.4% to record 1,203,378,839MB from 944,268,192MB recorded in the previous quarter. Since the introduction of WhatsApp and Facebook bundles by the mobile operators a lot of data has been consumed through these OTT packages as bundles as shown in Figure 11 below:
POTRAZ went on to declare that mobile revenue increased in the last quarter of 2015 despite Mobile Operators making unsatisfactory complaints.Total revenue increased by 4.7% to record $191,081,142 from $183,164,014 recorded in the previous quarter. The increase can be attributed to the increase in mobile data usage as shown in as shown in 3.3.2. All the mobile operators with the exception of Telecel registered a decline in revenues as shown in the table 11 below:
In the quarter under review Econet had 70.2% market share of revenues. NetOne and Telecel had 18.3% and 11.5% respectively. A quarterly comparison shows that Econet and Telecel lost market share by 0.7% and 0.6% respectively whilst NetOne gained market share by 1.3% as shown in Figure 14 below.
On the financial mobile money platforms, POTRAZ said there was a recognized continuous rise in mobile money transactions. The total value of transactions on mobile money platforms increased by 16.3% to record $533,067,245 from $458,412,196 recorded in the previous quarter. The number of mobile money subscribers also increased by 9.9% to reach 7.3 million subscriptions from 6.7 million subscribers recorded in the previous quarter. The number of agents also increased by 11.7% to reach 33,259 from 29,775 agents recorded in the previous quarter as shown in the table below.
Cross network transfers were implemented in the fourth quarter of 2015; mobile money subscribers are now able to send money across all the three networks. A total of $2,256,390 was transferred across the three mobile networks representing 0.4% of total transactions. Mobile money indicators per operator are shown in Table 14 below:
We will continue to thank POTRAZ for the detailed researches and analysis on Zimbabwe’s ICT industry where the country is now moving towards the stabilizing monopolistic competition. It is a clear fact that POTRAZ needs all the support from various stakeholders so that the mother board may continue to deliver its mandate.
Lets support the battle for relevance…….