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Zimbabwe’s TelOne suspends data rollover

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
Zimbabwe , 24 Aug 2021

Zimbabwe fixed phone operator and ISP TelOne has suspended data rollover for its broadband subscribers.

One of its rivals, ZOL, also runs data roll-over which allows users to carry over their unused bandwidth into the next month. TelOne also offers ADSL internet connectivity options.

“We wish to advise our valued clients of the suspension of the data roll over facility with immediate effect,” TelOne said in a notice to subscribers on Monday.

The company attributed this to “the unremitting failures on the host platform which has been affecting overall service offering and quality”. This had rendered the data rollover facility “impossible” to sustain.

Zimbabwe has a total of 54 000 fibre internet subscriptions, according to data from the regulator Potraz.

One user on Twitter criticised TelOne for using “complicated technical jargon instead of just tellingus that rolling over data resulted in reduced purchases compared to when you didn’t rollover” hence the cancellation of the service “to increase consumer expenditure”.

Data rollover has served to assist internet users in Zimbabwe by allowing unused bandwidth to be carried over into the next month.

The discontinuation of data rollover by TelOne comes at a time when other telecom companies such as Econet are pressing for an upward review in tariffs.

TelOne expanded its equipped international internet bandwidth capacity by 34.6% in the first quarter of 2021 to 87500Mbps, helping to boost its market share to 24.6%, data from Potraz shows.

Its fixed phone category has also recorded a decline in subscriptions. In the first quarter 2021, TelOne fixed lines declined 1% to 249 486, a development that analysts say adds pressure on the company to grow its data and value-added services such as VoD, Video on Demand.

“The trend of declining fixed telephone traffic is a common phenomenon in developing countries due to the substitution effect of mobile telephony, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and other emerging technologies,” noted Potraz in its first quarter 2021 report.

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