Data keeps TelOne’s revenue stream flowing
Data and internet service revenue now outstrips income from fixed phone service for Zimbabwe’s TelOne - and the Coronavirus outbreak is expected to drive up internet usage and volumes as Zimbabweans work from home and limit gatherings.
According to a fresh industry report released by the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), the number of active fixed telephone lines declined by 3.2% to 265,734 during Q4 to end December 2019.
Potraz attributed this to the “reduction in household/residential subscriptions” for fixed phone services.
The industry watchdog stated: “The fixed telephone continues to experience competition from mobile telephony and VoIP hence, the gradual decline in subscriptions over the years, especially at household level.”
Zimbabwe has 8.8 million active internet subscriptions representing an internet penetration rate of 60.6% after a 3.1% increase in the period under review.
This bodes well for TelOne, whose internet and data service is now the biggest contributor to revenue generation. The company has since bumped up its international internet bandwidth capacity by 7.3% to 40 000, as at the end of 2019.
Potraz confirmed: “Voice service was the main revenue contributor for the fixed network, but internet and data has now overtaken voice.”
TelOne now accounts for more than 22% share of the ISP revenue of ZWL504-million for the quarter. Liquid Telecom has a bigger share at more than 60%, according to Potraz.
Zimbabwean telecom companies such as ISP ZOL, Econet Wireless and others have started limit opening of physical branches for service, directing customers to utilise online platforms.
Other companies have also capacitated some of their employees to work remotely, with the number of Coronavirus cases in Zimbabwe rising with one confirmed death.
“To protect clients and staff from the possible spread of COVID-19, all branches are closed till further notice,” said ZOL in a texted message to subscribers.