Read time: 3 minutes

Zim telecoms up despite staggering economy

By , ITWeb
Zimbabwe , 21 Dec 2016

Zim telecoms up despite staggering economy

Despite an economic slowdown, Zimbabwe experienced 15% growth in revenue from its telecommunications sector - up from US$228,7 million to US$262 million in the quarter to September 2016.

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) attributed the increase to a spike in mobile data usage.

"The total mobile data usage for the first 9 months of 2016 was 5,525 terabytes and has already exceeded the 3,682 terabytes used in (all of) 2015," according to the official quarterly figures.

A Research ICT Africa report on the state of prepared market - cost of communication, stipulates that Zimbabwe's cheapest monthly 1GB data package is set at US$30.

Mobile Network Operators contributed US$194 million from US$161,5 million last quarter, about 72% of the sector's total revenue. Internet Access Providers' revenue in the quarter rose by 1,2% to US$39,3 million.

Mobile data utilisation had increased by 16,1% in the third quarter, with full year usage expected to double that of 2015, according to Potraz.

Meanwhile, Internet subscriptions were flat at 6,7 million while mobile subscriptions tumbled by 2,4% to 12,6 million.

"As a result of the decline in active mobile telephone subscriptions, the mobile penetration rate declined from 97 percent to 94.3 percent. This is the first time that the mobile penetration rate has declined since 2015," says the regulator.

The internet penetration rate remained flat at 50%.

Zimbabwe now has a total of to 7,589 base stations after an additional 233 were commissioned during the quarter under review.

Daily newsletter