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Zimbabwe companies ready to exploit data expansion

By , Journalist
Zimbabwe , 17 Mar 2016

Zimbabwe companies ready to exploit data expansion

There is an increasing demand for data and social media services in Zimbabwe, according to a report released by the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz). The report cited an increase in mobile internet and data utilisation that mobile companies have experienced.

The regulator says over the quarter to the end of December 2015 the number of LTE base stations in the country increased from 146 to 312.

"This was after mobile companies installed 166 new such 4G enabled base stations across the country. Mobile internet and data utilisation increased by 27.4% to record 1,208,379GB from 944,268GB recorded in the previous quarter," reads an extract from the report.

International incoming internet bandwidth for Zimbabwe is said to have increased by 26.9% from the September quarter after spiking to 19,864Mbps.

The increased utilisation of data services in the Southern African country is underpinned by increased uptake and usage of social message and instant messaging platforms.

"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," explains the quarterly industry report.

It adds that in terms of internet and data utilisation, Econet had 79.5% market share whereas Telecel and NetOne had 7.1% and 13.4% respectively.

Additionally, the rise in LTE base stations had helped increase the "population coverage of LTE from 11% recorded in the previous quarter to reach 22%" by the end of the December 2015 quarter.

Telecel Zimbabwe said yesterday it is revamping its data network to enhance its data capacity and capabilities.

Econet and NetOne have also been undertaking data expansion programs as telcos seek to broaden revenue from data services in light of declining income from voice telephony.

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