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Interest in VoIP increases as Zimbabwe businesses lean on broadband

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
Zimbabwe , 09 Dec 2022

Stronger uptake of broadband by Zimbabwean corporates is driving Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) subscriptions and usage volumes, according to the latest data from the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

VoIP reflected the strongest growth rate within the fixed voice category, with new subscriptions driving overall VoIP user numbers by 13% to 30 700 for the Q3 period to the end of September.

The total number of active fixed telephone subscriptions increased by a smaller margin of 2.8% to reach 290,810 over the same period.

Potraz said, “VoIP lines grew by a bigger margin than the growth in PSTN Lines. The traditional fixed phone segment continues to face competition from VoIP service, characterised by substitution, especially in the corporate market.”

The fixed VoIP market features about six competitors but is dominated by Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT), which has a share of half of the market, followed by Africom which has 44.4% market share. TelOne, which dominates the fixed phone voice market, has a 4.7% share of the VoIP market.

Total traffic in the VoIP segment - which grew by 2% over the quarter to March 30 to 30.8 million minutes - is dominated by outgoing calls to mobile phones which accounted for 26.1 million minutes of the total usage for the segment.

“The overall growth (in VoIP traffic) may be attributable to the growth in subscriptions,” reads an excerpt from the Potraz report.

Zimbabwe has drummed up bandwidth usage, with internet and data usage for the quarter increasing by 26.1% to 32,473.1TB compared to the previous quarter. Active internet and data subscriptions increased by 4.3% to 9.7 million.

Although telecommunications companies have continued to increase capacity and coverage, they still face hurdles such as foreign currency shortages and rising operating and expenditure costs.

“Although operating revenue increased in the third quarter of 2022, expenditure also rose across all subsectors. Prioritisation of the sector in terms of government expenditure, power availability, protection against vandalism, resource mobilisation, foreign currency availability amongst other issues, is pertinent,” noted Potraz.

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